Toward exascale: Large eddy simulation and direct numerical simulation of nuclear reactor flows with the spectral element method

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Numerical simulation has been an intrinsic part of nuclear engineering research supporting the design of nuclear power plants. With the advent of Petascale computing (i.e., computers capable of more than 1 PFlop), the simulation of portions of reactor components with turbulence-resolving techniques is now possible. These simulations can provide invaluable insight into the flow dynamics, which is difficult or often impossible to obtain with experiments alone. The spectral element method in particular has emerged as a powerful method to deliver massively parallel calculations at high fidelity by using Large Eddy Simulation or Direct Numerical Simulation. In this work we review the fundamentals of the method and the reasons it is compelling for the simulation of nuclear engineering flows. Moreover, we review a series of Petascale simulations, including the simulations of helical coil steam generators, fuel assemblies and pebble beds. Even with Petascale computing, however limitations for nuclear modeling and simulation tools remain. In particular he size and scope of turbulence-resolving simulations are still limited by computing power and resolution requirements, which scale with the Reynolds number. In the final part of this manuscript we discuss the future of the field, including recent advancements in emerging architectures such as GPU-based supercomputers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages2064-2080
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Event18th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, NURETH 2019 - Portland, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2019Aug 23 2019

Conference

Conference18th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, NURETH 2019
CountryUnited States
CityPortland
Period8/18/198/23/19

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Merzari, E. (2019). Toward exascale: Large eddy simulation and direct numerical simulation of nuclear reactor flows with the spectral element method. 2064-2080. Paper presented at 18th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, NURETH 2019, Portland, United States.