A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has received $122 million and access to the world's most powerful computers to speed the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors. The award from the Department of Energy creates the first energy innovation hub -- the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors -- headquartered at Oak Ridge.
The first task will be to develop computer models that simulate nuclear power plant operations, forming a "virtual reactor" for the predictive simulations of light water reactors. Other tasks include using computer models to reduce capital and operating costs per unit of energy, safely extending the lifetime of existing U.S. reactor and reducing nuclear waste volume generated by enabling higher fuel burn-ups.
Partners in this effort include Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, the Electric Power Research Institute, Tennessee Valley Authority and Westinghouse.