As part of a broad effort to spur clean energy breakthroughs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is leading an Energy Innovation Hub devoted to nuclear energy modeling and simulation. The Hub, which includes partners from universities, industry and other national labs, will use advanced capabilities of the world's most powerful computers to make significant leaps forward in nuclear reactor design and engineering.The new Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub, is intended to be funded by $122 million over the next 5 years.
The Hub will use the capabilities of the world’s most powerful computers to work on nuclear reactor design and engineering.A recent report stated
that 8 million processing hours will be directed to designing new and better reactors.In addition to ORNL a number of other universities, National Laboratories and other research institutions will collbirate in the project including:
The Nuclear Energy Innovation Hub will allow engineers to create a simulation of a currently operating reactor that will act as a “virtual model” of that reactor. They will then use the “virtual model” to address important questions about reactor operations and safety. This will be used to address issues such as reactor power production increases and reactor life and license extensions.
- Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California
- Idaho National Lab, Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, New Mexico
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Massachusetts
- North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
- Sandia National Lab, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Westinghouse Electric Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Fuels from Sunlight
- Efficient Energy Building Systems Design
- Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Reactors.
beyond our present overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels-and achieving truly significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on an urgent basis-represents a technological challenge of historic scale. Success will require major mobilization of our nation's basic and applied energy research capabilities, along with new investments in engineering and development to accelerate the deployment of revolutionary energy technologies in the marketplace. The developments of the atomic bomb under the Manhattan Project and of radar technology at the MIT Radiation Laboratory during World War II, as well as the invention of the transistor at Bell Laboratories in the 1950s, stand as evidence that exceptionally rapid technological breakthroughs are possible. These transformational breakthroughs came as a result of significant investments in highly motivated and focused scientific collaborations, combining basic and applied research, and aimed at overcoming a specific technological challenge.The choice of ORNL as the lead Institution in the nuclear hub has very real significance for the national energy future. First, of the three hubs the Nuclear hub is likely to be the most important, because neither fuels from sunlight nor improved building efficiency are likely to do the heavy lifting required to provide the United States with future post carbon energy. ORNL has the largest suite of super computers of situated art any research institution in the world, but further, ORNL has both 60 year old tradition of Molten Salt Reactor research and development, and a growing interest in the research and development of Molten Salt cooled reactors.