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Nuclear Systems Simulation

Research into the full physics, three-dimensional simulation of nuclear reactor systems is conducted in the Nuclear Systems Simulation Laboratory. Detailed models of light water reactors are developed using the reactor systems codes RELAP5, RETRAN, and TRAC with
three-dimensional spatial kinetics based on the codes ARROTA and NESTLE.

The codes are being adapted to distributed and shared memory multiprocessors, and advanced numerical algorithms are being developed to reduce the computational burden of the various field equation solutions. Real-time simulation has been achieved with a parallel version of RELAP5/NESTLE for practical light water reactor models. A resultant code, PARCS, developed at Purdue has been bench-marked by the NRC and is being used for licensing and re-licensing test cases.

Engineering analysis tools are also being developed using the Nuclear Plant Analyzer (NPA), which provides interactive simulation coupled with a color graphic display of results to aid interpretation of complex thermal-hydraulic phenomena. Research on next-generation thermal-hydraulic and reactor kinetics codes is being conducted in order to extend predictive capability of existing methods to meet the needs of light water reactors.

Contact: Prof. Martin Lopez-de Bertodano