Numerical simulation is a key technology for improvement of nuclear reactor design and maintenance with its low cost and safety comparing to traditional experiments, especially when irradiation is involved. Various software exist today in the fields of structural mechanics fluid dynamics and even neutronics to model and understand these phenomena. Nevertheless, coupled simulation of the reactor core represents a span of different mechanisms with intricate links between neutronics, materials and the surrounding coolant. With increasing computing power, advanced coupling of the phenomena occurring in the reactor core is being developed nowadays.
In the present study, a multi-physics coupling framework is developed by coupling three codes, i.e., a neutronics transport code, a computational fluid dynamics code and the finite element structural analysis code. The three solvers are hosted within the open-source platform SALOME. Besides this framework, the platform also contains additional modules to realize the full process of a multi-physics simulation. The multi-physics coupling framework provides a strong scalability, users are able to add user-defined modules though open API interface.
This paper provides a route forward for the development of the framework, along with the description of its various anticipated modules and functionalities. Ultimately, it is expected that the multi-physics coupling framework will achieve the full process of a multi-physics simulation, including preprocessing, neutronics calculation, structural analysis, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation, multi-physics coupling simulation, post-processing, and data analysis.