Research & Development
CASL is designed to create a user environment for predictive simulation, the Virtual Reactor (VR), that can be used to address essential issues in nuclear power plant design and operation. The primary challenge to satisfying the major objective to “after five years… produce a multiphysics computational environment that can be used… for calculations of both normal and off-normal conditions” is the development of superior physical and analytical models and multiphysics integrators.
CASL will address this challenge through the six Focus Areas (FAs), validating the VR models against single- and multiple-effect experiments and then against operating reactor data from the TVA pressurized water reactors (PWR) fleet. The resulting VR will couple state-of-the art neutronics, T-H, structural, and fuel performance modules, linked with existing systems and safety analysis simulation tools, to model nuclear power plant performance in a high-performance computational environment that enables engineers to simulate physical reactors.
In satisfying the goal of overcoming “potential roadblocks and bottlenecks… in order to implement a sustainable and commercially viable technology,” the CASL VR will take as its starting point a select set of mature and validated neutronics and T-H codes developed by the CASL partners, some of which have been used to design and license the U.S. PWR operating fleet.
The availability of this code suite enables CASL to jumpstart operation of the VR while developing the improvements and capabilities needed to deliver the HPC-based multiphysics VR.