CASL is introducing an innovative management strategy for technical focus areas (FA) to accelerate decision making and increase scientific understanding. This leadership team was selected for their world-class accomplishments ranging from science to engineering to design. An unambiguous responsibility for management and budget lies with each FA lead. The lead and deputy jointly provide technical depth for operations and research and development (R&D) that would not otherwise be possible. This innovative multidisciplinary approach enables rapid, informed decisions regarding technology or R&D.

Advanced Modeling Applications (AMA) – The primary interface of CASL research and development (R&D) with the applications related to existing physical reactors, the challenge problems, and full-scale validation. In addition, AMA will provide the necessary direction to models and methods development to be incorporated into VERA by providing the functional requirements, prioritizing the modeling needs, and performing assessments of capability. AMA also defines the overall verification and validation (V&V) and qualification requirements and engages with the NRC to provide confidence of regulatory acceptance of VERA capabilities.

Virtual Reactor Integration (VRI) – Develops VERA tools integrating the models, methods, and data developed by other FAs within a software framework, in addition to the fluid-structure interaction capabilities developed within VRI. VRI collaborates with advanced modeling applications (AMAs) to deliver usable tools for performing the analyses, guided by the functional requirements developed by AMA.

Radiation Transport Methods (RTM) – Develop next-generation neutron transport simulation tools to VERA, which consist of the primary development path based on 3D full-core discrete ordinates (Sn) transport, the legacy path based on full core, two-dimensional/one-dimensional (2D/1D) MOC transport, and the advanced development path based on hybrid Monte Carlo.

Thermal Hydraulics Methods (THM) – Advance existing and develop new modeling capabilities for thermal-hydraulics (T-H) analysis and its integration with solver environments deployed on large-scale parallel computers. The primary mission of THM is to deliver T-H components that meet the rigorous physical model and numerical algorithm requirements of VERA. Within the umbrella of VUQ, THM collaborates closely with MPO for sub-grid material and chemistry models, with RTM for coupling issues with radiation transport, and connects to virtual reactor integration (VRI) for integration and development of VERA.

Materials Performance and Optimization (MPO) – Develops improved materials performance models for fuels, cladding, and structural materials to provide better prediction of fuel and material failure. The science work performed by MPO will provide the means to reduce the reliance on empirical correlations and to enable the use of an expanded range of materials and fuel forms.

Validation and Uncertainty Quantification (VUQ) – The quantification of uncertainties and associated validation of VERA models and integrated systems are essential to the application of modeling and simulation to reactor applications. Improvements in the determination of operating and safety margins will directly contribute to the ability to uprate reactors and extend their lifetimes, and increase fuel discharge burnup. The methods proposed under VUQ will significantly advance the state of the art of nuclear analysis and will support the transition from integral experiments to the integration of small-scale separate-effect experiments.