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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/W037165/1
Title MCSIMus: Monte Carlo Simulation with Inline Multiphysics
Status Started
Energy Categories Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Applied Mathematics) 30%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr P Cosgrove

University of Cambridge
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2023
End Date 31 March 2026
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £349,005
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region East of England
Programme Energy and Decarbonisation
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr P Cosgrove , Engineering, University of Cambridge (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , EDF Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Liverpool (0.000%)
Project Contact , EURATOM/CCFE (0.000%)
Project Contact , Georgia Institute of Technology, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , AWE Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Jacobs UK Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Nuclear reactors in various forms are increasingly prominent in the context of net zero. However, stringent safety standards and advanced reactor designs necessitate ever-greater certainty and understanding in reactor physics and operation. As physical experimentation becomes more expensive, nuclear engineering relies increasingly on high-fidelity simulation of reactors.Traditionally, resolving different physical phenomena in a reactor (such as neutron transport or thermal-hydraulics) proceeded by assuming only a weak dependence upon other phenomena due to limits on computational power. Such approximations were allowable when additional conservatisms were included in reactor designs. However, more economical or sophisticated reactor designs render such approximations invalid, and reactor designers must be able to resolve the interplay between each physical phenomenon. This poses a challenge to reactor physicists due to vastly increased computational costs of multi-physics calculations, as well as the risks of numerical instabilities - these are essentially non-physical behaviours which are purely an artefact of simulation.This proposal aims to provide the basis of new computational approaches in nuclear engineering which are both substantially cheaper and more stable than present multi-physics approaches. Traditional methods tend to have one tool fully resolve one phenomenon, pass the information to another tool which resolves a second phenomenon, and then pass this updated information back to the first tool and repeat until (hopefully) the results converge. This proposal hopes to explore a slightly simpler approach, where information is exchanged between different solvers before each has fully resolved its own physics, extending this to many of the phenomena of interest to a reactor designer. Preliminary analysis suggests that this approach should be vastly more stable and computationally efficient than previous methods. The investigations will be carried out using home-grown numerical tools developed at the University of Cambridge which are designed for rapid prototyping of new ideas and algorithms. The final result is anticipated to transform the nuclear industry's approach to multi-physics calculations and greatly accelerate our ability to explore and design more advanced nuclear reactors.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 08/03/23