CASL is modeling nuclear reactors on supercomputers to help researchers better understand reactor performance with much higher reliability than previously available methods, with the goal of ultimately increasing power output, extending reactor life, and reducing waste.
This CASL visualization shows the thermal distribution of neutrons in Watts Bar Unit 1 Cycle 1 reactor core at initial criticality, as calculated by the VERA program. Image courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Simulation results from the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA) program, developed by CASL, were compared with actual data provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Tennessee, which confirmed its accuracy.
"VERA's capabilities range from simulating single fuel pins to modeling an entire operational reactor core," said Jess Gehin of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division. "It addresses operational challenges and supports increased power generation by exploring greater efficiency and life extensions."
During cycle startup of commercial nuclear power reactors, technicians perform a series of tests to confirm the reactor is operating as expected. For CASL, results of previous tests are useful for demonstrating the accuracy of the VERA software. As a CASL partner, TVA provided detailed historical information and measured operational data from the Watts Bar plant to allow comparisons of the VERA simulation.
The simulations of the reactor startup tests are just a first step in the demonstration of VERA. CASL is extending the program's capability to simulate full power operation of the TVA reactor, which will require further VERA development to integrate the nuclear and thermal hydraulic physics. These additional capabilities will allow researchers to pursue breakthroughs in understanding key phenomena in the operating reactors.
CASL, headquartered at ORNL, is one of the Department of Energy's Energy Innovation Hubs. First established in 2010, CASL brings together industry, academia, and national labs to provide advanced modeling and simulation solutions for commercial reactors. Its mission is to confidently predict the performance of nuclear reactors through comprehensive science-based modeling and simulation technology that is deployed and applied broadly throughout the nuclear energy industry to enhance safety, reliability and economics.
The Hub's 10 core partners include: the Electric Power Research Institute, Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Sandia National Laboratories, Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Michigan, Westinghouse Electric Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. More information about CASL is available at http://www.casl.gov.
Ron Walli | EurekAlert!
Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction