Nuclear energy is an important way to solve energy shortage and pollution problems today. Therefore, China is vigorously developing nuclear energy and is facing huge demands for talents. However, nuclear engineering education has been severely hampered, particularly in its experiment aspect because of the Fukushima accident. The original sub-critical nuclear reactor at Tsinghua University (THU) was stopped, forcing students to use computers to conduct relevant nuclear simulation experiments.

The emerging of supercomputers and commercial numerical simulation softwares has provided enough hardware and software support for complex calculations required in numerical simulation of nuclear reactors. Thus numerical simulation could be integrated into nuclear engineering education. With its ease of use, quick acquisition and direct visualization of results, numerical simulation can save much time and money. Besides, it is convenient to change simulation conditions which is helpful for academic research and talent development.

This paper starts with THU’s nuclear engineering talent training mode, and taking the course “Advanced Nuclear Reactor Thermal Analysis” as an example, discusses the applications of numerical simulation softwares FLUENT and COBRA-TF in this course. Finally, the analysis shows that numerical simulation performs well in conceptual understanding and experimental design. It plays a significant role in nuclear engineering education, which provides an important reference for the new mode of nuclear engineering education.

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