The Center for Exascale Simulation of Advanced Reactors (CESAR) is one of three Department of Energy-funded Co-Design Centers. The goal of CESAR is twofold: to both drive architectural decisions and adapt algorithms to the next generation HPC computer architectures on the path to exascale systems. CESAR's particular focus is on the algorithms that underlie the high-fidelity analysis of nuclear reactors: namely, neutron transport (Boltzmann and Monte Carlo) and conjugate heat transfer (Navier Stokes). Thus, the CESAR co-design process involves continually evaluating complex architectural and algorithmic tradeoffs aimed ultimately at the design of both exascale computers and algorithms that can efficiently leverage them.
In the bigger picture, nuclear reactor research is poised for dramatic accelerations by the advances in computing systems over the next decade. The benefits of fully exploiting these systems to advance our understanding will accrue not only to science, but also to society at large—nuclear power is an essential element in our nation’s energy and environmental future.