Frédéric Joliot / Otto Hahn Summer School on Nuclear Reactors

Objective of FJOH-2021

FJOH-2021 will revisit some of the nuclear reactor modelling topics covered in the 2011 session, to cast light on major advances, lessons learned, current trends and promising on-going developments. By the end of the course, the participants should be able to describe state-of-the-art M&S methods applicable to LWR design, operation and safety, discuss their relative merits and limitations, and relate them to changes in industrial practices as part of a broad digital transformation.

Advanced multiscale multi-physics M&S methods already make it possible for nuclear engineers to simulate large-size components from finely detailed descriptions, while accounting for coupled interactions between subsystems and with other components. Although such methods cannot yet predict the full response of a system as complex as a reactor, they foreshadow the next generation of reactor M&S tools, with a wide spectrum of new possibilities, ranging from costly high-fidelity models to faster-running reduced-order models tailored to users’ needs. Ultimately, they will take the form of embedded “digital twins” bridging the gap between the digital and real worlds. As industry progressively moves from legacy M&S to adopt these highly sophisticated methods and algorithms, gains are anticipated in plant performance, predictive maintenance, innovative design, reactor safety, workforce efficiency, etc.

This evolution shows great promise and is a powerful driver for engagement, while also being a challenge for traditional engineering practices. At the same time, unrealistic expectations and claims may arise unless one critically thinks of intrinsic model limitations, data management and integration, V&V and simulation fidelity evaluation, prediction credibility, accrued complexity vs usefulness, etc.