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INL partnership aimed at testing reactor designs

FuelRod_Before and After
A simulation of a fuel rod's pellets pressing against rod's protective cladding performed in MOOSE before (L) and after (R) implementing Coreform's spline technology.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI)-The Idaho National Laboratory has announced a new partnership with Orem, Utah based Coreform.  The collaboration will help model and simulate advanced nuclear reactor designs and help researchers and engineers test them at higher efficiency and lower cost.

“Higher fidelity simulations give you better confidence and a better understanding of the science,” said Cody Permann, INL department manager for Computational Frameworks. “It can reduce costs in how one designs reactors or how new technologies are researched. Modeling and simulation can reduce the uncertainty margins. It cuts costs.”

“MOOSE”, the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment, is a mathematical tool that has been used to analyze groundwater transport in Australia.  It has also been used to solve next generation reactor issues at INL and elsewhere.

According to INL,”MOOSE works after systems being modeled are divided into tiny regions for simulation purposes, a widely used technique known as the finite element method. MOOSE then computes what happens in each of these small volumes, these finite elements, as they interact with each other under specified heat, pressure, vibration and other environmental conditions.”

The calculations help predict what will happen to a system over time and can be used to troubleshoot potential problem areas and possible failure points.  The Coreform technology approach that can closely approximate the real world.

Further enhancements of the tool are also in the works.

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