Recent trends in fast neutron systems modelling and simulation


Participants in the Technical Meeting at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, 14 April 2014. (Photo:IAEA)

2014-04-22│The successful development of innovative fast neutron systems is strongly linked to powerful and reliable calculation methods and simulation tools for the design and safety assessment of these systems.

Given the wide range of activities and strong interest in numerous IAEA Member States in this area, the IAEA organized a Technical Meeting on Priorities in Modelling and Simulation for Fast Neutron Systems on 14–16 April 2014 in Vienna.

“The IAEA plays a fundamental role in supporting Member States in improving the design and safety features of their nuclear systems”, said Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy.

“Our Department has been very active in this area. Several coordinated research projects (CRPs) on analytical and experimental benchmark analyses for fast reactors were recently concluded or launched. I would like to thank all Member States which have shared their valuable information and experimental data with the IAEA and other CRP participants”, Mr Bychkov added.

Some 30 experts from 15 Member States and two international organizations involved in fast neutron system development programmes attended the meeting. They reviewed national and international programmes on fast neutron systems, with particular emphasis on activities aimed at developing and improving modelling and simulation capabilities, and verifying and validating advanced nuclear codes.

“The meeting was an excellent opportunity to gather experts from around the world and discuss common objectives in the field of modelling and simulation for fast reactors,” said Justin Thomas from the US Argonne National Laboratory, who chaired the meeting.

The meeting participants identified priorities and proposed future international activities. “Since the spectrum of possible benchmark activities is broad, we need advice from experts in Member States to set priorities and embark on a programme that fits the actual needs of our Member States”, said Stefano Monti from the IAEA Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, who was the Scientific Secretary of the meeting.

The main outcomes of the meeting will be presented and further discussed at the annual meeting of the Technical Working Group on Fast Rectors (TWG-FR), to be held on 19–23 May at the IAEA. TWG members will be asked to consider and endorse the recommended priorities on modelling and simulation for fast neutron systems.