Safer nuclear energy power promises to become a reliable, carbon-free resource capable of meeting the nation’s and the world’s energy needs. Modeling and simulation traditionally used by the nuclear engineering community has been based on heuristic modeling. DOE programs such as NEAMS (DOE-NE), CESAR (DOE-ASCR), and exascale (ECP-ASCR) have invested in state-of-the-art tools for predictive, first-principles-based numerical modeling of turbulent flows and related phenomena.
The NEAMS program has recently partnered with industry to address a topic of great interest and high impact: the numerical simulation of flow-induced vibrations in steam generators (SGs), which are an essential component of all pressurized water reactor (PWR) designs. The emphasis on reliable SGs has increased in recent years with the growing interest in small modular reactors (SMRs). Modeling and simulation is expected to play an important role in assessing the reliability of advanced steam generators, especially for what concerns complex phenomena such as flow induced vibration. This project, with its strong focus on validation, is a stepping stone toward achieving that goal.