Large-scale simulation of nuclear reactors: Issues and perspectives

Elia Merzari, Aleks Obabko, Paul Fischer, Noah Halford, Justin Walker, Andrew Siegel, Yiqi Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Numerical simulation has been an intrinsic part of nuclear engineering research since its inception. In recent years a transition is occurring toward predictive, first-principle-based tools such as computational fluid dynamics. Even with the advent of petascale computing, however, such tools still have significant limitations. In the present work some of these issues, and in particular the presence of massive multiscale separation, are discussed, as well as some of the research conducted to mitigate them. Petascale simulations at high fidelity (large eddy simulation/direct numerical simulation) were conducted with the massively parallel spectral element code Nek5000 on a series of representative problems. These simulations shed light on the requirements of several types of simulation: (1) axial flow around fuel rods, with particular attention to wall effects; (2) natural convection in the primary vessel; and (3) flow in a rod bundle in the presence of spacing devices. The focus of the work presented here is on the lessons learned and the requirements to perform these simulations at exascale. Additional physical insight gained from these simulations is also emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics 2015, NURETH 2015
PublisherAmerican Nuclear Society
Pages280-297
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781510811843
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event16th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, NURETH 2015 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 30 2015Sep 4 2015

Publication series

NameInternational Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics 2015, NURETH 2015
Volume1

Other

Other16th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, NURETH 2015
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period8/30/159/4/15

Keywords

  • CFD
  • Exascale
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Large-scale simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Merzari, E., Obabko, A., Fischer, P., Halford, N., Walker, J., Siegel, A., & Yu, Y. (2015). Large-scale simulation of nuclear reactors: Issues and perspectives. In International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics 2015, NURETH 2015 (pp. 280-297). (International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics 2015, NURETH 2015; Vol. 1). American Nuclear Society.