Cast iron can be modified through the manufacturing process to optimize its mechanical and physical properties, such as strength and durability. But the manufacturing process is as much art as science, producing good results yet not capturing cast iron's full potential. Controversy still ex ... more
Using supercomputers to explore nuclear energy
Ever wanted to see a nuclear reactor core in action? A new computer algorithm developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory allows scientists to view nuclear fission in much finer detail than ever before. A team of nuclear engineers and computer scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are developing the neutron transport code UNIC, which enables researchers for the first time to obtain a highly detailed description of a nuclear reactor core.
The code could prove crucial in the development of nuclear reactors that are safe, affordable and environmentally friendly. To model the complex geometry of a reactor core requires billions of spatial elements, hundreds of angles and thousands of energy groups — all of which lead to problem sizes with quadrillions of possible solutions.
Such calculations exhaust computer memory of the largest machines, and therefore reactor modeling codes typically rely on various approximations. But approximations limit the predictive capability of computer simulations and leave considerable uncertainty in crucial reactor design and operational parameters.
"The UNIC code is intended to reduce the uncertainties and biases in reactor design calculations by progressively replacing existing multilevel averaging techniques with more direct solution methods based on explicit reactor geometries," said Andrew Siegel, a computational scientist at Argonne and leader of Argonne's reactor simulation group.
UNIC has run successfully at DOE leadership computing facilities, home to some of the world's fastest supercomputers, including the energy-efficient IBM Blue Gene/P at Argonne and the Cray XT5 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Although still under development, the code has already produced new scientific results.
In particular, the Argonne team has carried out highly detailed simulations of the Zero Power Reactor experiments on up to 163,840 processor cores of the Blue Gene/P and 222,912 processor cores of the Cray XT5, as well as on 294,912 processor cores of a Blue Gene/P at the Jülich Supercomputing Center in Germany. With UNIC, the researchers have successfully represented the details of the full reactor geometry for the first time and have been able to compare the results directly with the experimental data.
- nuclear reactors
- Argonne National Laboratory
- nuclear fission
- computer simulations
The overuse of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture can wreak havoc on waterways, health and the environment. An international team of scientists aims to lessen the reliance on these fertilizers by helping beans and similar plants boost their nitrogen production, even in areas with tradition ... more
A team of researchers has developed a new microscope that can image the elemental and magnetic properties of a wide range of energy-important materials that are used in devices such as solar cells and solid-state lighting. The imager is based on a technique known as X-ray excited luminescen ... more
Just as proteins are one of the basic building blocks of biology, nanoparticles can serve as the basic building blocks for next generation materials. In keeping with this parallel between biology and nanotechnology, a proven technique for determining the three dimensional structures of indi ... more
A new technique pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real time and under real operating conditions. A team of scientists used a newly developed reaction chamber to combine x-ray absorption spec ... more
A record-setting X-ray microscopy experiment may have ushered in a new era for nanoscale imaging. Working at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a collaboration of researchers used low energy or "soft" X-rays to image structures only f ... more
- 1Endress+Hauser Completes Takeover of Analytik Jena
- 2Schleicher & Schuell has been purchased by Whatman plc
- 3Laboratory of the future at analytica in Munich in the present
- 4The latest technologies in food and plastics analysis, bioanalysis and genetic analysis
- 5SCHOTT Is Now a Stock Corporation
- 6MDS Sciex Opens Manufacturing Facility in Singapore
- 7GRACE ACQUIRES ALLTECH
- 8PIAB announces new Chief Executive Officer
- 9Argonne’s lithium-ion battery technology to be commercialized by BASF
- 10Neanderthals may have been infected by diseases carried out of Africa by humans
- Light-powered 3-D printer creates terahertz lens
- Scientists uncover how a cell's 'fuel gauge' promotes healthy development
- Scientists identify genes that control smooth muscle contraction
- Cellphone principles help microfluidic chip digitize information on living cells
- New technique could improve detection of concealed nuclear materials