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NRC Seeks Modeling and Simulation Support

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES) is seeking proposals for a project titled, “Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling and Simulation Support for Containment and Mixing Studies.”

During some severe accident scenarios in light water reactors, a significant amount of hydrogen and some carbon monoxide (from concrete) is released into the reactor containment building. The NRC is interested in improving its ability to predict the distribution, stratification, mixing, and combustion of the gasses within the containment building.

In addition, the NRC is interested in the effectiveness of accident management systems including but not limited to containment sprays, coolers, and passive auto-catalytic recombiners (PARs).

The goal of this research is the development of analytical tools including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for an improved assessment of the reactor and containment safety systems, a set of best practice guidelines for the application of the CFD models, and methods for the assessment of uncertainty in predictions.

The NRC may participate in the European Union sponsored project entitled HYCOSAM (Improvement of hydrogen and carbon monoxide explosion risk assessment models and safety management procedures). The purpose of this project is to establish a data base for test scenarios that are representative of a severe accident in a light water reactor. The focus is on stratification, turbulent mixing, evaporation, condensation, and combustion phenomena, as well as the operation of mitigation systems such as sprays, coolers, and PARs.

The project may include condensation, re-evaporation, advanced turbulence modeling, heat transfer, thermal radiation, combustion, and chemical reactions. Experiments are being planned in a variety of small scale facilities in Europe with significant instrumentation in order to provide a data set for comparison with CFD and other types of reactor and containment codes. The NRC’s participation in the project involves completing predictions using the FLUENT or STAR-CCM+ CFD code for a few tests in several facilities.

The primary objective of this contract is to apply a CFD code to predict sets of test scenarios in separate facilities. These predictions, along with specific sensitivity studies, shall be used to support the NRC participation in the HYCOSAM project, as well as to support the NRC’s efforts to understand basic phenomena of fluid stratification, turbulent mixing, evaporation, condensation, heat transfer, and combustion as it relates to nuclear power plant safety.

Model development and testing, scenario predictions, sensitivity studies, and model refinements shall be completed in order to determine which types of CFD options provide the most accurate solutions.

The contract type will be an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract with an anticipated period of performance of 4 years with no option periods.

Further details are available via Solicitation Number: NRC-HQ-60-15-R-0005. The response deadline is May 12, 2015.

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