Feeds

World's mightiest supercomputer to design new nuke plants

Grail-hunting Jaguar unleashed

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Nuclear supercomputer boffins in the States say they are unleashing the mighty power of the "Jaguar" - number one arse-kickingest computer in the world - to design the next generation of nuclear reactors, including the ITER fusion project.

John Wagner, Technical Integration Manager for Nuclear Modelling at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, says that the power of the Jaguar allows his team to tackle "problems that were previously unthinkable or impractical in terms of the computing power required". The mighty machine edged out the rival "Roadrunner" in the most recent Top500 rankings, cranking a blistering 1.75 petaflops.

"We're now simulating entire nuclear facilities, such as a nuclear power reactor facility with its auxiliary buildings and the ITER fusion reactor, with much greater accuracy than any other organization that we're aware of," boasts Wagner.

The ITER reactor project, it is hoped among nuke boffins, may finally unlock the secrets of controlled nuclear fusion and so end the energy problems of the human race forever. Nuclear fusion is understandably often referred to as the "holy grail" of modern science and technology.

Doing sims on the 224,000-core Jaguar is no simple matter, though. Wagner's crew have been forced to develop new software for the job, dubbed Denovo (roughly "from scratch").

"At first we tried adapting older software to the task, but we abandoned that idea pretty quickly," says nuke boffin and Denovo creator Tom Evans.

"Software for modeling radiation transport has been around for a long time," he adds, "but it hadn't been adapted to build on developments that have revolutionized computational science. There's no special transformational technology in this software; but it's designed specifically to take advantage of the massive computational and memory capabilities of the world's fastest computers."

Wagner and Evans are chuffed to announce that they have been awarded eight million processor hours on Jaguar for the purpose of running Denovo to develop a "uniquely detailed simulation of the power distribution inside a nuclear reactor core". This is expected to cut years off the process of designing new and better reactors.

The announcement from Oak Ridge lab is here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.