Adaptive hierarchical radiation transport methods to meet future challenges in reactor physics

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Earth Science and Engineering

Abstract

This proposal comes at a time when the UK nuclear sector is resurgent. It is now widely accepted that one of the ways in which the UK can meet its commitments to reducing CO2 emissions, as well as dealing with its over-reliance on imported fuel supplies, is to replace the current fleet of ageing nuclear reactors. However, in recent years the UK has seen a substantial reduction in trained scientists and engineers and this skills shortage is now approaching a critical point. Unless immediate action is taken the skilled work force will be too small to oversee safe operation, decommissioning and waste disposal from the current nuclear power facilities, let alone satisfy demand driven by any future new build. In addition, many nuclear related issues also remain unsolved, from new reactor designs to waste disposal, and so increasing our expertise as well as our understanding in nuclear is of great importance. In this proposal we will address many of the main issues by developing novel approaches for radiation transport modelling (RT). This will enhance our understanding across a range of fields from reactor physics, radiation shielding and radiation damage to criticality safety and waste disposal. This will put the UK back at the forefront of RT research. It will also inform policy makers, scientists and engineers involved in energy and environmental initiatives and increase confidence in nuclear safety and waste disposal.
RT modelling has been notoriously difficult. This is partly due to the high complexity of the 7 dimensional phase-space that describes radiation transport, but also the inherent multi-scale geometries within reactor cores are beyond the modelling capabilities of most numerical schemes. Multi-scale, reduced order, and adaptive numerical methods can therefore be extremely valuable to this area of reactor physics. They can link together the numerous length-scales, from the smallest fuel element to the largest fuel arrays, with mathematical rigour whilst forming computationally efficient and fast solutions. The proposed work will realise this potential by developing, for the first time:
1) A full multi-scale model for RT that rigorously links all length scales for reactor physics applications.
2) Embedded reduced order methods that significantly reduce computational complexity by several orders of magnitude through the reduction of large scale models to only a few hundred unknowns.
3) Error estimates that enable adaptive capabilities which can resolve the full 7D phase-space & focus computing resources on resolving the key physics, therefore increasing efficiency without compromising accuracy.
4) Parallel solver technologies for the efficient solution of large scale problems that can be carried out on current & future multi-core computer platforms.
5) Embedded data assimilation methods that link the above technologies with known nuclear data uncertainties to form error bounds on solutions & other key parameters.
This will provide new information on uncertainties, sensitivities & errors resulting from variations in geometry, material data and other input parameters.
Our overall aim of this project is the accurate prediction of RT using a world leading model. The novel technologies including; multi-scale methods, reduced order models, error estimates, adaptivity, data assimilation and parallel solvers will be implemented within our finite element RT model framework RADIANT. By providing a model with advanced numerical technologies that accurately capture intricate geometric detail, combined with estimates of errors and sensitivities, we can enable the user to make informed judgements on a wide range of nuclear applications. This will have wide ranging impacts, e.g. informing government and regulatory bodies, enhancing company and stakeholder capabilities and ensuring that the scientific communities research methodologies are cutting edge. This will serve to increase confidence, mitigate errors and reduce risk.

Planned Impact

This work will benefit those scientists, government bodies and industries concerned with nuclear power safety and coupled systems. This includes areas of multi-phase flows, structural models, damage models, geological safety of waste repositories and state-of-the-art computational modelling. Specific organisations that will benefit from these advanced RT technologies include AWE, AREVA, NNL, NDA, HSE, Rolls-Royce and EDF (now running UK nuclear reactors).

Example benefit areas include: Optimising fuel loading, reactor lifetime extension, and planning for safe decommissioning, this work will also be of interest to wider EPSRC and NERC communities. For the EPSRC community, areas where our work will be of benefit include: plasma physics, imaging, nuclear waste modelling and thermal radiation research (in combustion and furnaces). NERC communities will benefit from this next generation RT technology for research on cloud physics for climate and process study models, spectral wave models for free surface and internal waves in oceans, and RT processes within meteor impacts. The use of our RT technologies for the above listed research themes will advance climate models, earth system science, prediction of natural hazards, and other related technology areas. Many of the techniques and tools we will be working on are also of interest to the wider computational physics community. There is strong potential for their re-application to resolve other physical phenomena using the general adaptive discretisations, data assimilation, multi-scale models and solver technologies. There is also a strong interest in using this software for multi-physics simulations in National Laboratories including those in the USA, France and Japan, where our researchers already have links.

This proposal comes at a time when the UK is in danger of being dominated by overseas commercial software and we are not on a level playing field when contributing to science and engineering in this important area. This proposal will therefore help correct this trend, by providing a modern approach to reactor physics, criticality and shielding applications. This will result in improved safety for new build and decommissioning activities, by providing an independent and improved alternative to vendor codes from France and the USA. This work will therefore play many important roles ranging from informing government policy decisions on energy to addressing the general public's concern regarding nuclear power safety and with safe decommissioning and waste disposal.

The project also has an important economic impact as it will help combat the introduction of commercial software from abroad. At present this is eroding UK software sales and damaging the prospects for growing UK licence sales during the forthcoming era of new build. If allowed to continue it could cost the UK nuclear industry hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum if a competitive UK alternative is not launched soon. This project will also aim to expand and market beyond the UK and seek new business in overseas governmental and industrial bodies, including the US, Japan and Mainland Europe. Our technologies will also make inroads into the main energy hubs, particularly in the US where we already have strong links, and thus increase the project's economic impact on a global scale, improving UK competiveness and revenue flow through increased licence sales abroad.

Publications


10 25 50
Adam A (2016) Adaptive Haar wavelets for the angular discretisation of spectral wave models in Journal of Computational Physics
Ardjmandpour N (2014) Reduced order borehole induction modelling in International Journal of Computational Fluid Dynamics
Buchan A (2013) A POD reduced-order model for eigenvalue problems with application to reactor physics in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
 
Description The research for this grant has focussed on advanced, adaptive parallel radiation transport algorithm development with uncertainty quantification. Radiation transport is fundamental to wide variety of physics phenomena and engineering disciplines such as reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding in fission and fusion reactors; nuclear security; cloud radiative transfer in terrestrial/planetary environments (key element of global climate models); radiation heat transfer in industrial furnaces and combustion chambers; radiative transfer in stars and transport of charged particle radiation in semi-conductor devices and medical treatment planning.

We have developed scalable parallel, adaptive radiation transport algorithms that enable engineers and scientists to study these phenomena in much greater detail thus reducing discretisation and model errors whilst enabling detailed parametric uncertainty quantification to be performed. The primary area of application of this high performance numerical algorithms is in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding in fission and fusion nuclear power plants.

The research associated with this grant has led to the following research developments/outputs:

(a) The research led to the further development and enhancement of the high performance, scalable, adaptive radiation transport modelling and simulation platform RADIANT. This is being developed into a commercial product for use by Rolls-Royce civil nuclear and submarines. This has maintained and improved the UK's standing as a world leading country in the field of radiation transport methods development with nuclear professionals from TAMU, Michigan and MIT visiting the group during the grant to see and understand the research being performed.

(b) The research has led to the development of a reactor kinetics code for the evaluation of nuclear criticality safety as well as reactor start-up dynamics of small modular reactors (SMRs) and the analysis and design of novel medical isotope reactors. The main beneficiaries of this research were AWE, Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group and Rolls-Royce.

(c) The research also has led to evaluation and subsequent publishing in the international criticality safety benchmark evaluation project (ICSBEP) handbook of historical intermediate enriched criticality experiments performed at Dounreay and Aldermaston in the 1950's and 1960s.

(d) Finally, the research led to the development of high dimensional model reduction methods for uncertainty quantification in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding. These high performance uncertainty quantification algorithms were incorporated into the MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler code SPRUCE for use in the naval nuclear propulsion programme as well as having civil nuclear applications. This is leading to the adoption of Best Estimate Plus Uncertainty (BEPU) analysis in the nuclear engineering community in the UK. This will help improve the design, safety, performance and reliability of nuclear power plants in the defence and civil nuclear sectors.
Exploitation Route Rolls-Royce are one of the main beneficiaries of this research work as they are currently testing and deploying RADIANT within their reactor physics and radiation shielding teams. This code will be used in the modelling and design of advanced radiation shields and reactor cores for small modular reactors (SMRs).

AWE is another beneficiary as they will make use of the code FISS that my team has developed for fissile liquid criticality safety assessment. They will also benefit from the use of nuclear security modelling and simulation tools were are currently developing. AWE, IAEA, NEA and the international community have also benefitted from the assessment of historical intermediate enriched criticality experiments from Dounreay and Aldermaston in the 1950's and 1960's that have now been included in the international criticality safety benchmark evaluation project (ICSBEP) handbook.

Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group have benefitted from the development of advanced reactor kinetics codes for the assessment of the operational stability and safety of their novel medical isotope reactor (MIPS).

Finally, MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler are benefitting from the advanced uncertainty quantification algorithms we have developed within their SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation framework. This is leading to the early adoption of Best Estimate Plus Uncertainty (BEPU) methodologies in the UK defence and civil nuclear sectors.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Security and Diplomacy
 
Description The research in EPSRC grant EP/J002011/1 focussed on high performance, scalable, parallel adaptive radiation transport algorithms applicable to a diverse range of physical phenomena encompassing radiation transport, reactor physics, nuclear security, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding for fission and fusion nuclear power plants. In addition high dimensional model reduction methods uncertainty quantification algorithms have been applied in these fields as well. The findings have been used to provide MoD and Rolls-Royce with a next generation radiation transport modelling and simulation framework for naval nuclear submarine reactor physics and radiation shielding assessment embodied in the radiation transport code RADIANT. This will be used by Rolls-Royce to improve the design and efficiency of radiation shields and reactor cores for small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants. We have also used the findings to help support MoD and Amec Foster Wheeler develop a next generation uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation framework called SPRUCE that can be applied to a wide range of problems in nuclear energy. This will in future help improve the design, safety, reliability and performance of civil and defence nuclear power plants. We have also helped EDF Energy develop a new suite of multiscale transport solvers in their PANTHER whole core reactor physics code. We have helped forge closer ties with CCFE Culham in the field of deterministic radiation transport and radiation shielding research which will help the fusion community benefit from the research performed during this grant. We have also help produce data assimilation methods that have been used by AWE in their publication of historical intermediate enriched nuclear criticality experiments that has now been published in the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Programme suite of assessed criticality experiments (ICSBEP). In conjunction with AWE and Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group we have developed a new generation of reactor kinetics codes for nuclear criticality safety assessment of drums of fissile liquid as well as helping to understand the operational behaviour of novel small modular medical isotope reactors embodied in the MIPS reactor design. This research has also led to the development of new Cartesian mesh adaptive radiation transport algorithms for use by EDF in Paris, France as well as helping forge close links on nuclear power research and development between the UK and France. The findings have also been used to publish twenty one journal publications in prestigious journals which have kept the UK in the forefront of radiation transport algorithm development. Also during this time five PhD/EngD students associated with this grant have been awarded their PhDs/EngDs with a further seven have been funded by industry to help support the research aims of the grant and to help continue the research after the grant finishes.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Economic
 
Description Member of NIRAB (Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact I assist NIRAB in the only UK academic who is an expert in reactor physics, radiation shielding, integrated methods modelling, nuclear criticality safety assessment. The role of NIRAB is to: •To advise Ministers, Government Departments and Agencies on issues related to nuclear research and innovation in the UK. •To oversee a regular review of the nuclear research and innovation capability, portfolio and capacity in the UK and, in doing so, assess progress against the objectives set out in the Nuclear Industrial Strategy. •To support the development of new specific research and innovation programmes in the UK, underpinning priority policies including energy policy and industrial policy, including developing business cases for such activity. •To foster greater cooperation and coordination across the whole of the UK's nuclear research and innovation capability, portfolio and capacity and help NIRO to act as a repository of R&D knowledge. •To oversee the development of an international engagement strategy (both bilateral and multilateral) for nuclear research and innovation in the UK.
 
Description Member of Working Group in Nuclear Reactor Core Physics for Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The role I have played is as an independent advisor in core physics methods. This is an expert role based upon my leading role in the UK in reactor physics, radiation shielding, nuclear data, integrated methods modelling and nuclear criticality safety assessment. Through this role I'm able to advise the MoD on the latest cutting-edge research and development in these fields to ensure that MoD understands the latest developments and ensures that if they are of benefit then research programmes can be suitably implemented or modified.
 
Description Doctoral Training Award (DTA) which was converted to CASE by Rolls-Royce: Student Mr James Welch
Amount £92,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2012 
End 03/2016
 
Description Doctoral Training Award (DTA) which was converted to CASE by Rolls-Royce: Student Mr Sam Park
Amount £92,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2012 
End 09/2015
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with AWE Industrial Sponsorship: Student Ms Joanna Saxby
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 12/2012 
End 11/2016
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with Amec Industrial Sponsorship: Student Dr Mark Goffin
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2014
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group Industrial Sponsorship: Student Dr Christopher Cooling
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2010 
End 05/2014
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with EDF Energy Industrial Sponsorship: Student Dr Sheldon Hall
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2008 
End 09/2012
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with EDF R&D Industrial Sponsorship: Student Ms Rebecca Jeffers
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2016
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with Rolls-Royce Industrial Sponsorship: Mr Ben O'Malley
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2016
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with Rolls-Royce Industrial Sponsorship: Student Mr Alex Owens
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2016
 
Description EPSRC Industrial Doctorate with Rolls-Royce Industrial Sponsorship: Student Mr Anthony Williams
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2017
 
Description EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment (KTS): Industrial Secondee Dr Dan Ayres
Amount £42,196 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2015
 
Description EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment (KTS): Industrial Secondee Mr Sam Park
Amount £47,143 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description EPSRC Pathways to Impact Award: Dr Christopher Cooling
Amount £44,757 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 12/2015 
End 11/2016
 
Description EPSRC Pathways to Impact Award: Dr Jozsef Kophazi
Amount £86,411 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 12/2015 
End 03/2017
 
Description EPSRC and AWE Industrial CASE studentship: Student Mr Charles Latimer
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 12/2015 
End 06/2019
 
Description EPSRC and AWE Industrial CASE studentship: Student Mr George Adams
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2015 
End 03/2019
 
Description EPSRC and EDF Energy Industrial CASE studentship: Student Mr Joshua Pegman
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description EPSRC and Rolls-Royce Industrial CASE studentship: Student Mr Seth Wilson
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description EPSRC fellowship for my PDRA Dr Andrew Buchan
Amount £662,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M022684/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2020
 
Description Industrial Doctorate with full AWE Industrial Sponsorship: Student Dr James Dyrda (member of staff at AWE)
Amount £24,000 (GBP)
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2008 
End 09/2012
 
Title Development of Multiscale Neutron Transport Model for the EDF Energy Whole Core Reactor Physics code for Modelling of Advanced Nuclear Fuel such as Mixed Oxide (MOX) Nuclear Fuel 
Description This computational code was a multiscale neutron transport model that was incorporated into the EDF Energy whole core reactor physics code PANTHER. The new multiscale neutron transport models enabled PANTHER to model advanced fuels in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) such as Mixed Oxide (MOX) Nuclear fuel. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This impart of the development of this multiscale neutron transport models, and their incorporation into the whole core reactor physics code PANTHER, was enhancing and widening the range of Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) that could be modelled when these PWRs are fuelled with advanced fuel types such as Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel. This will be important as the UK determines who to use the current large stockpile of Plutonium and whether to burn this MOX fuel in UK power stations such as Sizewell B and future nuclear power plants such as Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C. 
 
Title International Nuclear Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP) Contributions on Intermediate Enriched Criticality Experiments at Dounreay and Aldermaston in the 1950's and 1960's. 
Description The research stems from the EngD industrial doctorate project "Use of UK Experimental Criticality Data for IEU Systems to Validate Nuclear Data Libraries". This project involved the development of data assimilation methods (key research element of EPSRC grant EP/J002011/1) for investigating historical 1950's and 1960's nuclear criticality experiments performed at Dounreay and Aldermaston on intermediate enriched criticality experiments. The evaluation of these experiments and their inclusion in the ICSBEP represents a very important research outcome; especially for the UK and the international criticality research communities. Indeed this is one of the major contributions to nuclear criticality research that the UK has made in decades. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This was an important contribution to the international Nuclear Criticality Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP). This project involved the development of data assimilation methods (key research element of EPSRC grant EP/J002011/1) for investigating historical 1950's/1960's nuclear criticality experiments performed at Dounreay and Aldermaston on intermediate enriched criticality experiments. The evaluation of these experiments and their inclusion in the ICSBEP represents a very important research outcome; especially for the UK and the international criticality research communities. Indeed this is one of the major contributions to nuclear criticality research that the UK has made in decades. 
 
Title RADIANT - Radiation Transport Modelling and Simulation Framework 
Description The RADIANT radiation transport modelling and simulation framework was the principal numerical algorithm/modelling framework developed during the EPSRC grant EP/J002011/1. This modelling and simulation framework is a high performance, scalable, parallel, finite element based adaptive mesh and angle radiation transport modelling framework. The model was developed for use in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment, nuclear security and radiation shielding for nuclear fission and fusion power plants. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This radiation transport modelling and simulation framework is being deployed by Rolls-Royce to replace their current older and computationally less efficient radiation transport codes. It is currently being evaluated by Rolls-Royce with support from EPSRC and Imperial College London through an EPSRC/Pathways to Impact Scheme called: "RADIANT: A Parallel Scalable, High Performance Radiation Transport Modelling and Simulation Framework for Reactor Physics, Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment and Radiation Shielding Analyses" which will continue from 1st December 2015 through to 2016. 
 
Title SPRUCE - Uncertainty Quantification Modelling and Simulation Framework 
Description SPRUCE was being developed by Rolls-Royce, MoD and Amec Foster Wheeler as a general uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation framework for use principally in the fields of reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding. The uncertainty quantification methods developed by Dr Matthew Eaton and his team on EPSRC grant EP/J002011/1 and with the associated PhD/EngD students and KTS grants has enabled these advanced uncertainty quantification algorithms to be incorporated into the SPRUCE code. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The impact of this uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation framework has been the improved estimate of uncertainties in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment for Americium and radiation shielding problems for MoD, Rolls-Royce, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and Amec Foster Wheeler. 
 
Description MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Development of Uncertainty Quantification Algorithms 
Organisation AMEC
Department Reactor Physics Group
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have been developing a new uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform jointly with MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler. This modelling and simulation platform is called SPRUCE. We have incorporated into SPRUCE novel high dimensional model reduction techniques for uncertainty quantification based upon adaptive sparse grid collocation, polynomial chaos and Karhunen-Loeve methods.
Collaborator Contribution MoD and Rolls-Royce have provided funding for two PhD/EngD students: (a) Mr Sam Park (spatial uncertainty quantification methods). (b) Mr Anthony Williams (multiscale uncertainty quantification methods). MoD/Amec Foster Wheeler have provided support and assistance on their SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform. They have also provided support in terms of nuclear covariance data for many of the verification and validation test cases used in developing the new high dimensional model reduction uncertainty quantification algorithms that were incorporated into SPRUCE.
Impact The main outcome of this collaboration has been the development of new, more accurate uncertainty quantification algorithms for use in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety and radiation shielding applications.
Start Year 2011
 
Description MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Development of Uncertainty Quantification Algorithms 
Organisation Ministry of Defence (MOD)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have been developing a new uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform jointly with MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler. This modelling and simulation platform is called SPRUCE. We have incorporated into SPRUCE novel high dimensional model reduction techniques for uncertainty quantification based upon adaptive sparse grid collocation, polynomial chaos and Karhunen-Loeve methods.
Collaborator Contribution MoD and Rolls-Royce have provided funding for two PhD/EngD students: (a) Mr Sam Park (spatial uncertainty quantification methods). (b) Mr Anthony Williams (multiscale uncertainty quantification methods). MoD/Amec Foster Wheeler have provided support and assistance on their SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform. They have also provided support in terms of nuclear covariance data for many of the verification and validation test cases used in developing the new high dimensional model reduction uncertainty quantification algorithms that were incorporated into SPRUCE.
Impact The main outcome of this collaboration has been the development of new, more accurate uncertainty quantification algorithms for use in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety and radiation shielding applications.
Start Year 2011
 
Description MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Development of Uncertainty Quantification Algorithms 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Department Rolls Royce Submarines
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have been developing a new uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform jointly with MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler. This modelling and simulation platform is called SPRUCE. We have incorporated into SPRUCE novel high dimensional model reduction techniques for uncertainty quantification based upon adaptive sparse grid collocation, polynomial chaos and Karhunen-Loeve methods.
Collaborator Contribution MoD and Rolls-Royce have provided funding for two PhD/EngD students: (a) Mr Sam Park (spatial uncertainty quantification methods). (b) Mr Anthony Williams (multiscale uncertainty quantification methods). MoD/Amec Foster Wheeler have provided support and assistance on their SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform. They have also provided support in terms of nuclear covariance data for many of the verification and validation test cases used in developing the new high dimensional model reduction uncertainty quantification algorithms that were incorporated into SPRUCE.
Impact The main outcome of this collaboration has been the development of new, more accurate uncertainty quantification algorithms for use in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety and radiation shielding applications.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Rolls-Royce Collaboration on Radiation Transport Methods Development for Nuclear Fission Power 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Department Rolls Royce Submarines
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have developed a new high performance, scalable, parallel adaptive radiation transport modelling and simulation platform called RADIANT that is being evaluated for use by Rolls-Royce in their defence and civil nuclear activities in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding applications. We have also jointly developed an uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation platform called SPRUCE with MoD, Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler for use in these areas. Finally, we are developing a reactor kinetics code investigating start-up dynamics of small modular reactors (SMRs).
Collaborator Contribution Rolls-Royce supported five PhD/EngD students during the EPSRC grant EP/J002011/1. They have also funded one three year PDRA. They have also funded staff such as Professor Alan Copestake, Dr Paul Warner and Dr Vittorio Badalassi to help technical support the research work. The students funded are: (a) Mr Ben O'Malley. (b) Mr Sam Park. (c) Mr James Welch. (d) Mr Anthony Williams. (e) Mr Alex Owens. The PDRA funded was Dr Christopher Cooling.
Impact The outputs and outcomes of this collaboration are: (a) The funding of five PhD/EngD students and one PDRA. (b) The development of a high performance, scalable, adaptive, radiation transport modelling and simulation framework for reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding applications. (c) The joint development of a general purpose uncertainty quantification called SPRUCE for use in reactor physics, nuclear criticality safety assessment and radiation shielding applications. (d) The development of a reactor kinetics code for investigating the start-up dynamics of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).
Start Year 2011
 
Title FISS Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment Modelling and Simulation Software 
Description The FISS nuclear criticality safety assessment modelling and simulation software will be used by AWE to investigate and model nuclear criticality excursions and safety of drums of fissile liquid. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The FISS nuclear criticality safety assessment modelling and simulation software will be used by AWE to investigate and model nuclear criticality excursions and safety of drums of fissile liquid. It will have a impact upon safer procedures for storage and handling of fissile liquids. 
 
Title RADIANT Radiation Transport Modelling and Simulation Software 
Description The RADIANT radiation transport modelling and simulation software is a major outcome of this research and is software that is being exploited by Rolls-Royce for use in reactor physics, nuclear criticality and radiation shielding assessment as well as nuclear security applications. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The RADIANT software is currently being evaluated by both Rolls-Royce civil nuclear and Rolls-Royce submarines for commercial exploitation in collaboration with Imperia College London. This will result in improvements in radiation shield design resulting from more accurate and computationally more efficient solutions of radiation shielding problems. It is also likely to form part of automated radiation shield design software thus making radiation shield design easier and more efficient. 
 
Title Reactor Kinetic Model of Novel Fissile Liquid Medical Isotope Reactors 
Description This software was a point reactor kinetics model of a novel medical isotope reactor fuelled by liquid uranyl nitrate and designed by Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The notable impact of this research was the development of software for Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group that enabled them to investigate the operational behaviour of their liquid uranyl nitrate fuelled small modular medical isotope reactor called MIPS. This work was presented to the US NRC as the underpinning science justifying the stated operational behaviour of the reactor. 
 
Title SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation software for reactor physics, nuclear criticality and radiation shielding. 
Description The SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation software is MoD/Rolls-Royce/Amec Foster Wheeler and Imperial College London jointly developed software. It is being evaluated for commercial exploitation by Amec Foster Wheeler and Rolls-Royce. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The SPRUCE uncertainty quantification modelling and simulation software will be used extensively in the Rolls-Royce submarine programme and is a crucial part of the move towards Best Estimate Plus Uncertainty (BEPU) within the naval nuclear propulsion programme. This will improve the design, performance and safety of naval nuclear propulsion plants and submarines.. 
 
Description Seminar and Training on Scaling, Uncertainty and 3D Coupled Code Calculation in Nuclear Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This seminar was concerned with teaching nuclear engineering practitioners in the very latest uncertainty quantification methods for Best Estimate plus Uncertainty Calculations in nuclear engineering. The results of this activity were the spreading of BEPU methods into the nuclear engineering community both within the UK and internationally.

The notable impact of this activity were the spreading of BEPU methods into the nuclear engineering community both within the UK and internationally. It also raised the profile of Imperial College London and the UK as being world leaders in uncertainty quantification methods for nuclear engineering.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Short Course on Analytical Benchmarks: Case Studies in neutron Transport Theory 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This seminar was aimed at teaching professionals in the nuclear engineering industry about the latest verification and validation methods in neutron transport theory. It was aimed principally at reactor physics and radiation shielding specialists and included researchers and engineers from Rolls-Royce and Amec Foster Wheeler.

The notable impact was the training of nuclear engineering specialists in neutron transport theory and verification and validation of neutron transport codes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015