Research & Development

CASL executes its R&D in six technical Focus Areas (FA) and one integrating area (Collaboration and Ideation, or C&I) to develop and apply Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA) to facilitate solutions to industry-relevant problems.

  • Physics Integration (PHI) - Develops VERA tools integrating the models, methods, and data developed by other FAs within a software framework. PHI collaborates with AMA to deliver usable tools for performing design analyses, guided by the functional requirements developed by AMA.
  • Radiation Transport Methods (RTM) - Develops next-generation neutron transport simulation tools in VERA, which consist of: the primary development path based on 3D full-core discrete ordinates (Sn) transport/2D method of characteristics (MOC) transport; the legacy path based on full core, 2D MOC transport/1D diffusion or transport; and, the advanced development path based on hybrid Monte Carlo (MC).
  • Fuel Materials & Chemistry (FMC) - 
  • Validation & Modeling Applications (VMA) - 
  • Thermal Hydraulics Methods (THM) - Advances existing and develops new modeling capabilities for thermal hydraulics (T-H) analysis and its integration with solution environments deployed on large-scale parallel computers. The primary mission of THM is to deliver T-H components that meet the rigorous physical model and numerical algorithm requirements of VERA. THM collaborates closely with Materials Performance and Optimization (MPO) for sub-grid material and chemistry models, with RTM for coupling issues with radiation transport, and connects to virtual reactor integration (PHI) for integration and development of VERA.
  • Technology Deployment & Outreach (TDO) - 
  • Collaboration and Ideation (C&I) - CASL’s “virtual one-roof” approach is implemented through a management strategy that stresses physical collocation of a strong central leadership team, interdisciplinary collaboration, regular community-building activities, execution of a single milestone-driven plan by multidisciplinary teams with access to a broad talent base, and integration of interdependent projects. The Virtual Office, Community, and Computing (VOCC) team integrates existing and emerging technologies to provide CASL participants with state-of-the-art tools for collocation or distance collaboration. CASL’s virtual-one-roof strategy is dependent upon the development and maturation of the VOCC. The VOCC consists of a unique infrastructure integrated in a special way so as to promote collaboration and critical thinking. Critical thinking leads to insight, and insight leads to innovation. “Innovation at the speed of insight” means a more rapid deployment of predictive simulation capability to the nuclear industry. VOCC not only provides an environment for collaborative CASL development, but assists in demonstrating VERA and CASL associated capability to industry, new partners, and potential tool users.