A UK Initiative: Development of a Nuclear Virtual Engineering Capability with an Integrated Modeling and Simulation Program

A UK Initiative: Development of a Nuclear Virtual Engineering Capability with an Integrated Modeling and Simulation Program


  • Mark Bankhead, National Nuclear Laboratory, Warrington, UK
February 13, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am


At Spending Review 2015, the UK government committed to investing in an ambitious nuclear research and development program. The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expects to invest around £180 million in nuclear innovation across a number of programs covering advanced fuels, nuclear safety, nuclear materials, and manufacturing. BEIS recently launched the first phase of an R&D program in digital reactor design, incorporating the development of a nuclear virtual engineering capability with an integrated modeling and simulation program. This project currently led by Wood Group and supported by the National Nuclear Laboratory and leading UK universities aims to develop a roadmap for a digital reactor, which by 2030 will deliver a significant impact on UK nuclear manufacturing capability. This project constitutes the first step toward developing an integrated nuclear digital environment linking together models across physical domains and incorporating real-world data across all stages of the nuclear life cycle. In the presentation we will outline the first steps of the UK program; we will set out some of the key steps to defining the technologies that will be developed in future projects. An overview of the current high-level architecture design will be presented. A parallel R&D project related to nuclear waste management will be discussed to provide an insight as to the future direction of the project.

Additional Information 

About the Speaker:

Dr. Mark Bankhead is a chartered chemist, a computational/theoretical chemist, and a technology manager at the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). His main research interests are in the chemistry of materials; he has specific expertise in modeling and simulation at the atomic scale and the and mesoscale and in chemical thermodynamics. In addition, he is NNL’s technical lead for high-performance computing and has a broad interest in model design and integrated modeling applied to nuclear systems and is NNL’s technical lead for the Digital Reactor Design project. Current research projects include effluent management; uncertainty quantification; atomic simulation of properties of Gen-IV nuclear fuel; and properties of waste forms, including those of waste glasses and cements. 

Sponsoring Organization 

Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division


  • Weinberg Auditorium
  • Building: 4500-N
  • Room: I-126

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