High Fidelity Reactor Prediction Modeling Phase II Awarded June 2020

Through a Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant, WSC partnering with Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) and Dr. Paul Turinsky Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University is developing an advanced primary core model, including the Core physics and thermal-hydraulics simulation models based on ORNL high fidelity 51-energy groups 3-dimensional transport core simulator, VERA-CS (Virtual Environment for Reactor Analysis - Core Simulator) model and subchannel thermal-hydraulics with transient two-fluid, three-field solution methodology, COBRA-TF (Coolant Boiling in Rod Arrays - Two Fluids) code.

In 2018, DOE awarded WSC the first phase of this project, which included the use of VERA-CS output to be used by the NESTLE 2-group 3-dimensional Nodal diffusion core model. (NESTLE is a few-group multi-dimensional nodal core simulator that employs nodal expansion to solve eigenvalue, adjoint, fixed-source, steady-state, transient problems in Cartesian and Hexagonal geometry).  Phase I of the project was completed successfully early 2019, and Phase II for expansion of this project was awarded in June 2020. This phase is scheduled to complete in mid-2021.

Background Information

Through DOE support, the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), an Energy Innovation Hub, has developed high fidelity software for improving the fidelity of modeling of Light Water Reactors (LWRs). One of the software programs they developed is the
VERA-CS, a high-fidelity core model simulation developed and maintained by ORNL.

The Grant Project

In order to make insights from the VERA-CS core physics simulation accessible to plant operators, DOE grant is concentrated on the development of a reduced-order, physics-based, real-time simulation built on the VERA-CS analysis capability. Results of Phase I produced good agreement between NESTLE and VERA-CS results. Phase II research integrated NESTLE-RELAP5-COBRA-TF (CTF) models developed for this purpose. The project will benefit Plant design engineers and advance Real-time Training Simulators with higher fidelity models of the primary system.