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Bison Enables Complex Nuclear Fuel Modeling, Simulation

By Idaho National Laboratory

October 1, 2013

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Idaho National Laboratory (INL) researchers have developed BISON, a software that utilizes the Multiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) framework. BISON is designed to make it easier for researchers to gain insight into processes that they would not otherwise have resources to simulate on their own.

The code enables researchers to troubleshoot new ideas before building prototypes or experimental tests. By refining designs based on simulation data, researchers can maximize the efficiency of time and resources dedicated to testing in research reactors. BISON can simulate several fuel types such as those used in commercial nuclear reactor power plants, plate-type fuel used in university and research reactors, metallic-type fuel, and TRISO particle fuel used in Very High Temperature Gas Reactors.

"It's very complex software to solve very hard problems," says BISON lead researcher Richard Williamson.

BISON is able to process several events happening at once inside a nuclear reactor, known as multiphysics. To simulate each physical development, BISON uses equations that are fully coupled, meaning they interact with each other in the same way as the physics they describe.

"We're working on state-of-the-art codes that run simulations very few others can," says INL's Danielle Perez.

From Idaho National Laboratory
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