Nuclear Systems Physics
The Nuclear Systems Physics expert group
In the expert group Nuclear Systems Physics (NSP) engineers and physicists carry out studies in different domains:
- Reactor core physics
- Reactor shielding
- Reactor thermal-hydraulics
We contribute, among other things to:
- The development of the fast spectrum irradiation facility MYRRHA
- The design of the Lead Fast Reactor project ELSY
- The design of the GUINEVERE zero power facility
- The build-up of knowledge in Belgium on Generation IV reactors and their impact on the nuclear fuel cycle
We have much experience with neutronics codes like MCNP, MCNPX, DORT/TORT, ORIGEN, thermal-hydraulics codes like RELAP and computational fluid dynamics codes.
We have developed our own burn-up code ALEPH and corresponding library generator ALEPH-DLG.
Several members of the group are active in teaching activities in the framework of the Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network BNEN, next to on-demand courses requested by industrial partners or licensing bodies.
The Fermi computation cluster
The NSP expert group makes use, among other things, of the Fermi computation cluster, a Linux-based cluster currently housing more than 60 dual processor nodes.This initiative was started within the former Reactor Physics and MYRRHA Department to increase the computational capabilities that were available at that time (a Sun Enterprise machine with 6 processors). The cluster was gradually expanded from 6 single processor nodes to what it is now.
The cluster is used by different expert groups for different tasks:
- The Reactor Modelling and Safety group runs their neutronics, thermal-hydraulics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes on the cluster.
- The group on Radiation Protection Calibration and Dosimetry uses it, for example, to estimate dose levels in patients undergoing medical treatment.
- The Structural Materials expert group uses the cluster for calculations related to atomistic modelling problems.
- Another user of this facility is the Microbiology unit running gene annotation software.
From a department based facility, this Linux cluster has grown to a machine that services different groups at SCK•CEN. The general maintenance and administration is under supervision of Infoplan, the SCK•CEN ICT group.