Nuclear Safety and Systems

June 16, 2020

The Nuclear Safety and Systems theme covers three areas of research: nuclear reactor physics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics.

  • Reactor Physics Research: Research performed by this group addresses the current needs for accurate and reliable analyses for the safe and economic operation of nuclear systems. Predictive (2D and 3D) models of neutronic behavior of nuclear systems with emphasis on Gen III, Gen III+, and Gen IV reactors, using state-of-the-art modeling tools, are/have been developed (Westinghouse AP1000® and the Korean APR1400). The group has expertise in performing verification and validation of computational tools used in core neutronics analyses (steady state and transient) and nuclear fuel management.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Research: 3D-dimentional numerical studies have been conducted using the codes mentioned below to study in details the thermal hydraulic phenomena of case pertinent to the nuclear engineering industry. Examples of such studies are;  assessment for mixed convection in water-cooled small modular reactors, direct numerical simulation of natural convection flow in a cylindrical annuli, a numerical investigation to examine dust impacts on the dry cask passive cooling under UAE harsh environmental conditions, and large eddy simulations predictions of thermal load in power plant piping systems.
  • Reactor Thermal Hydraulics Research:  Deterministic and Probabilistic safety analyses have been conducted using various TH codes and PSA codes mentioned below to verify the most recent safety issues in nuclear power plant and to provide TH data for development of Emergency operating procedure. Major nuclear accident scenarios such as Large break LOCA, Small break LOCA, Total loss of feed water, Downcomer boiling, Feed and Bleed Operation has been studied and new EOP strategies are suggested by this research group.


Facilities include:

  • Reactor Physics: PARCS, Serpent, WIMS suite of reactor physics codes, SCALE suite of reactor physics and depletions codes, MCNP, MONK, CASMO/SIMULATE.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics: CFD commercial codes; Star-CCM+ and Star-CD, open source codes;  OpenFoam and Code_Saturne.
  • Reactor thermal hydraulics: MARS, PSA-AIMS, RELAP5, MELCOR, TRACE and SNAP.
  • Generic 2-loop PWR Simulator: is a real-time, full scope, high fidelity simulator that allows students to perform complete plant startups, shutdowns, and load maneuvers; as well as realistically simulating normal and abnormal plant transients, and malfunction scenarios. The Pressurized Light Water Reactor has two circulation loops, two steam generators and four reactor coolant transfer pumps. The KU Simulator Features are: 1) 1st Principle Models based on Operational 1400MW Nuclear Power Plant, 2) Over 75 Graphic Pages for Plant Control and Supervision, 3) Full Alarm System & Trending Capabilities, 4) Learning Environment geared towards Educational Institutions, 5) Meets the ANS/ANSI3.5 standard.
  • High-end desktop personal computer workstations.
  • IBM High Performance Computer: 11. 520 Tera flops for computing (25 Compute node, 1 Master node, 1 Login node, IBM system x3775 M3, CPU AMD Opteron 6174 12C *4, 256 GB RAM per node, Infiniband by Qlogic, 24TB Storage).