V&V constitutes a powerful framework to demonstrate the capability of computational tools in several technological areas. Passing V&V requirements is a needed step before applications. Let’s focus hereafter to the area of (transient) Nuclear Thermal-hydraulic (NTH) and let’s identify V1 and V2 as acronyms for Verification and Validation, respectively.
Now, V1 is performed within NTH according to the best available techniques and may not suffer of important deficiencies if compared with other technological areas. This is not the case of V2. Three inherent limitations shall be mentioned in the case of Validation in NTH:
1. Validation implies comparison with experimental data: available experimental data cover a (very) small fraction of the parameter range space expected in applications of the codes; this can be easily seen if one considers data in large diameter pipe, high velocity and high pressure or high power and power density. Noticeably, the scaling issue must be addressed in the framework of V2 which may result in controversial findings.
2. Water is at the center of the attention: the physical properties of water are known to a reasonable extent as well as large variations in values of quantities like density or various derivatives are expected within the range of variation of pressure inside application fields. Although not needed for current validation purposes (e.g. validation ranges may not include a situation of critical pressure and large heat flux) physically inconsistent values predicted by empirical correlations outside validation ranges, shall not be tolerated.
3. Occurrence of complex situations like transition from two-phase critical flow to ‘Bernoulli-flow’ (e.g. towards the end of blow-down) and from film boiling to nucleate boiling, possibly crossing the minimum film boiling temperature (e.g. during reflood).
Therefore, whatever can be mentioned as classical V2 is not or cannot be performed in NTH. So, the idea of the present paper is to add a component to the V&V. This component, or step in the process, is called ‘Consistency with Reality’, or with the expected phenomenological evidence. The new component may need to be characterized in some cases and is indicated by the letter ‘C’. Then, the V&V becomes V&V&C.
The purpose of the paper is to clarify the motivations at the bases of the V&V&C.