Supporting the use of computational fluid dynamics for nuclear reactor safety

Supporting the use of CFD for nuclear reactor safety

50 experts from 13 countries from the NEA CFD-Task Group convened at a meeting hosted by EDF in Saclay, France on 15-16 June 2023.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a modelling tool used to simulate and analyse fluid behavior in various systems, including those found in nuclear energy applications. For over two decades, the Nuclear Energy Agency’s Working Group on Analysis and Management of Accidents has been exploring the potential for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to be used to enhance nuclear safety.

This work has specifically been conducted through the establishment of the CFD-Task Group. The group is now in its 6th phase and recently 50 experts from 13 countries convened at a meeting hosted by EDF in Saclay, France on 15-16 June 2023.

CFD makes it possible to ‘revisit’ issues theoretically with a detailed local description. The WGAMA group has made progress on both numerical aspects and physical models. Thanks to efforts which have been invested to developing CFD code validation for nuclear applications, along with improvements in computing power, there has been an increased use of CFD in the field of nuclear reactor studies, including for safety assessments.

CFD is continuously evolving and showing improved capabilities for safety studies, mostly focusing on relatively small systems or partial components. However, its usage still remains limited and the goal of the CFD Task Group is to work towards broader usage for safety applications.

During the meeting, the group discussed several activities related to the databases needed for verification and validation of CFD codes, including a report on uncertainty quantification when the CFD results are applied to the nuclear safety assessment, and technical documents which aim to enable end-users to be able to assess the question, is the CFD approach adapted to my problem?

(Left to right) CFD Task Group Leaders: Mr Jan-Patrice Simomeau (EDF), Dr. Stephan Kelm (Forschungszentrum Juelich), Martina Adorni (NEA), Mr. Philippe Freydier (EDF), Dr. Hideo Nakamura (JAEA) and Dr. Pierre Ruyer (IRSN).

Visit our webpage for updates on the work of the Working Group on Analysis and Management of Accidents.

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