Evolution and validation of neutron simulations with NEUTRO – Article in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

Building on the work described in our previous posts (please see links below), we have continued developing NEUTRO, the neutronics module in Alya. The latest advancements are portrayed in the article entitled “Validating NEUTRO, a deterministic finite element neutron transport solver for fusion applications, with literature tests, experimental benchmarks and other neutronic codes” that has been recently published in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (PPCF).

Neutron damage to fusion reactor materials and tritium self-sufficiency are two significant challenges that need to be solved for fusion to be a viable energy source integrated with the electricity grid. The development of future fusion reactors requires a thorough understanding and the ability to predict these processes, which in turn means highly demanding simulations need to be performed to assist in the analysis of the consequences of neutrons interacting with the vast array of reactor components.

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Main takeaways from the Colloquium “Advancing methods for fusion neutronics: An overview of Workflows and nuclear analysis activities at UKAEA”

Source: Advancing Methods for Fusion Neutronics: An Overview of Workflows and Nuclear Analysis Activities at UKAEA, PPPL Colloquium.

On 4 August, our Fusion group’s members Ezequiel Goldberg and Martí Circuns i Duxans attended a Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) colloquium entitled “Advancing Methods for Fusion Neutronics: An Overview of Workflows and Nuclear Analysis Activities at UKAEA” with invited speakers Alex Valentine (Senior Nuclear Radiation Analyst) and Jonathan Naish (Lead for STEP Neutronics) from the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

Ezequiel and Martí found the Colloquium highly interesting, informative and directly relevant to the activities in our group. In particular, within FusionCAT project, we are developing a high-fidelity deterministic neutron transport solver called NEUTRO (an exhaustive description of the solver can be found in here) which solves the Boltzmann stationary transport equation. The solver was created within the Alya system: a Finite Element, parallel, multi-physics framework created at BSC designed to solve different physical phenomena in a coupled way.

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Webinar: Machine learning interatomic potentials for modelling radiation damage

Professor Kai Nordlund from the University of Helsinki gave a Computational Materials Physics talk about fusion reactor materials.

On 27 June, group members Julio Gutiérrez and Mary Kate Chessey attended a Materials Square webinar (#118) titled, “Machine learning interatomic potentials for modelling radiation damage,” with invited speaker Professor Kai Nordlund of Computational Materials Physics from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

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FusionCAT webinar on Technology Transfer trains us on the best exploitation strategies

Group photo of the participants on FusionCAT’s technology transfer webinar

On May 30th, our Fusion Group had the pleasure of organizing a training webinar on technology transfer for all the  partners of the FusionCAT consortium. After two years of intensive work on several assets within the project, the time to explore collaborations with the industry partners is getting closer. This webinar set the basis for the best exploitation strategies for doing so.

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Plasma community celebrates a year of fusion breakthroughs at 48th EPS Plasma Conference

Fusion Group members Tomas Bensadon and Adriana Ghiozzi participated in the 48th edition of the European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics. The event was held online due to continued concerns about the pandemic but featured a lively and fruitful dialogue nevertheless, with 612 attendees joining from countries both within and outside of Europe.

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