Web-Based Computational Model Builder for Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation

Period of Performance: 07/31/2017 - 07/30/2019

$1000K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Kitware
28 Corporate Drive Array
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

According to the World Nuclear Association, the U.S. is the largest producer of nuclear power worldwide. In fact, the U.S. provides over 30 percent of the world’s nuclear generation of electricity. Although few new reactors have been built in the past 30 years, the association anticipates that four to six reactors may be built by 2020. The first of the reactors will be built in response to 16 license applications, which have been completed since 2007, to build 24 additional nuclear reactors. Currently, both government and industry are working to accelerate approval for the construction and design of new nuclear energy plants. The U.S. nuclear industry has already achieved significant developments in the implementation of nuclear power plants due to advancements in refueling, maintenance, and safety systems at current power plants. Meanwhile, changes in government policy, which have occurred since the late 1990s, have provided for noteworthy expansion in nuclear capacity. For example, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 evoked investment in electricity infrastructure such as nuclear power. Today, the importance of nuclear power in the U.S. is a geopolitical matter as much as it is an economic one. This is due to the notion that increasing the use of nuclear power reduces the U.S.’s reliance on imported oil and gas. In order to design future systems and continue operational improvements at existing U.S. plants, advanced modeling and simulation of nuclear power reactors is crucial. Despite the known advantages of advanced modeling and simulation, many nuclear energy firms, or other manufacturing and engineering firms with equally complex preprocessing problems, simply cannot afford to contend with the overarching complexity nor deal with the capital outlays. The work proposed here addresses current deficiencies for utilizing advanced modeling and simulation by building a flexible, open-source Cloud/Web-based simulation environment or framework that stresses interoperability and ease-of-use. We will simplify simulator definition, automate HPC workflow description and introduce meshing HPC workflows. In particular, we are targeting nuclear energy, engineering and manufacturing firms that can clearly benefit from this technology, given that we will make these tools easier to use, reduce the need for in house expertise, and reduce the overall capital costs of using advanced modeling and simulation.