Computational Science

  • Development of the GeN-Foam multi-physics tool. GeN-Foam is an OpenFOAM-based tool for the analysis of nuclear reactors. Based on object-oriented programming, it includes classes for neutronics (point kinetics, diffusion, SP3, discrete ordinates), thermal-hydraulics (RANS and LES-based CFD, single- and two-phase porous medium), fuel behavior, and thermal-mechanics (including mesh deformation). The classes are integrated into a flexible, HPC-scalable tool for multi-physics investigations.
  • Development of the OFFBEAT fuel behavior tool. OFFBEAT is an OpenFOAM-based tool for the multi-dimensional analysis of the thermo-mechanical and behavior of nuclear fuel rods under irradiation. Different from most legacy codes, OFFBEAT has mainly been developed for 2-D (r-z or r-theta) and 3-D investigations. It can deal with both elastic and plastic behaviors, and it includes models for creep, swelling, densification, relocation, fission gas release, etc.  
  • Creation of an open-source platform for the high-fidelity analysis of nuclear reactors. Based on our work on open-source software, in coordination with the IAEA, and in the frame of a large international collaboration, we work towards the development of a novel open-source platform for reactor analysis available to the IAEA member states.  Development of projection-based reduced order models. We work on reduced order models as a way to accelerate full-order solvers, or to create fast-running tools for sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, and data assimilation.
  • Development of fast-running surrogate models based on machine learning techniques. In some cases, data-driven model-agnostic approaches turns-out to be preferable over model-based order reduction. In such cases, we employ modern machine learning techniques to develop sound and quick-to-deploy models for fast running simulations.
  • Modelling and simulation of advanced reactors and fuels. We employ our modelling tools to tackle some of the most challenging problems in nuclear engineering. Examples of our activities are: the analysis of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (including the therm-hydraulics of core and pools, and the neutronic effects of core deformations); the analysis of Molten Salt Reactors; and the multi-dimensional analysis of  of fuel-behavior experiments.