Multiphysics for nuclear energy applications using a cohesive computational framework

R. Martineau, D. Andrs, R. Carlsen, D. Gaston, J. Hansel, F. Kong, A. Lindsay, C. Permann, A. Slaughter, E. Merzari, Rui Hu, A. Novak, R. Slaybaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the recent development of advanced numerical algorithms, software design, and low-cost high-performance computer hardware, reliance on coupled multiphysics to predict the behavior of complex physical systems is beginning to become standard practice. This is especially true in nuclear energy applications where strong nonlinear interdependencies exist between reactor physics, radiation transport, multi-scale nuclear fuels performance, thermal fluids, etc. Resolving these nonlinear dependencies requires choices in multiphysics software approaches. Two main multiphysics modeling and simulation approaches have emerged. The first is based upon “code coupling” where disparate physics codes of different software design, code languages, and spatial and temporal integration schemes are coupled together with relatively complex data passing interfaces. The second multiphysics software approach is to employ a “cohesive” framework where all physics applications are developed with a common software design, i.e., data structures, syntax, input format, integrated spatial and temporal discretization schemes, etc. Here we present the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) development and runtime framework and describe the framework's cohesive modeling and simulation multiphysics approach. Then, a “cohesive-like” extension of the MOOSE framework is presented where MOOSE-based physics software applications are efficiently coupled to non-MOOSE (external) physics codes to form multiphysics applications using MOOSE's unique interface capabilities. Finally, several examples of MOOSE's cohesive and cohesive-like multiphysics applications will be demonstrated. These multiphysics demonstrations will incorporate both MOOSE-based applications and external codes, including Nek5000, RELAP-7, TRACE, BISON, and Pronghorn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110751
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohesive coupling
  • Conjugate heat transfer
  • Multiphysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering


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