23 April 2019

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Limited’s (Necsa) Radiation Reactor Theory (RRT) department proudly presented the OSCAR-5 Release and User Group International Workshop 2019 on 15 -19 April at, Amanzingwe Lodge, Hartbeespoort. The Workshop focused on introducing the new incarnation of the OSCAR system to its current and potential user base, and consequently extend the scope and usage footprint of OSCAR-5 both for research and industrial application. 

The workshop was formally opened by the acting Group CEO of Necsa, Mr. Don Robertson. In attendance there were participants from 12 countries and 19 different nuclear institutions. The workshop covered the general features of the system, technical training on the use of the system, and a mini-conference component where local and international participants shared their experience in using the system at their various institutions. 

Apart from the technical enhancements, the OSCAR-5 platform carries a new licensing and collaboration model which was introduced during the workshop. The workshop concluded very successfully, with a strong indication of growth in all the categories of usage. 

Participants in attendance were high level experts in the field of nuclear engineering and nuclear reactor physics. They represented diverse interests, spanning industrial reactor operational experts, applied researchers, regulatory and government role players as well as students. 

The OSCAR-5 workshop targeted a wide array of institutions, spanning, research reactor operators, power reactor operators, engineering companies, universities, research institutions, government representatives’ as well nuclear regulators. Such a diverse grouping of local and international role players provided a unique platform for engaging and resolving many of the relevant issues around nuclear reactor modelling for safe reactor operation. 

Locally, the South African nuclear industry is relatively small, and spread in pockets among various institutions. This OSCAR user group forum provided another opportunity to align and optimized local South African resources toward enhanced safety of nuclear installations. 

In a world where the export of nuclear related technology becomes more and more restricted, a local South African nuclear reactor modelling infrastructure notably improves strategic independence in decision making related to efficient and safe use of local nuclear infrastructure.

To this end, it is very much intended to focus on improved support to the rest of the South African nuclear landscape, and as such have OSCAR become a useful tool for the established nuclear industry, university landscape and regulatory framework that already exists in the country. In this way we can provide further value to the South African tax-payer for the investment cost in OSCAR over the years.

What is OSCAR 5?

The OSCAR code suite, developed at Necsa, South Africa, is a nodal diffusion based calculational system, which has been used over many years for research reactor analyses. Version 4 of the system is primarily used to support the operation of the SAFARI-1 research reactor at Necsa, but is also applied at various other international research reactors, such as HOR (TU-Delft, The Netherlands), HFR (NRG, The Netherlands) and MNR (McMaster University, Canada) as a reactor core-follow and core reload design tool.

The next generation OSCAR system (termed OSCAR-5) is released with the aim to respond to the challenging demands of the modern reactor analysis environment. The OSCAR-5 system aims to allow for multi-code, multi-physics support for reactor analysis, with the primary aim to allow the use of fit-for-purpose tools in support of reactor operations. This implies finding a balance between the nature of a specific calculational application and the level of detail and fidelity utilized in achieving the result. 

The OSCAR-5 system is built around the concept of a code-independent, consistent reactor core model. This model is deployable to an extendable set of integrated target codes and manages the passing of data between these target codes. Currently fully coupled to the system is our in-house OSCAR nodal package, Serpent and MCNP.

OSCAR-5 also introduces a number of improvements to the front end of the calculational path. This includes additional lattice code options and a theoretically consistent step by step approach to move from a detailed heterogeneous model to an energy condensed homogeneous model. The system gives feedback at each step, to help the user improve the nodal model and to quantify the final error estimate associated with the model.

Nikelwa Tengimfene

General Manager: Corporate Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tel: +27-12-305-4452

Cell: +27-82-574-5495

Email: Nikelwa.Tengimfene@necsa.co.za

Website: www.necsa.co.za