Using a Beowulf Cluster to Extend the Limits of Nuclear Reactor Design

Nathan Carstens, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photo of Nathan Carstens

Designing a nuclear reactor is an inherently difficult process in part because of the huge computational requirements necessary to validate a design. In the past this had to be solved by complex simplifications to the reactor design. However, these simplifications are not readily applicable to some new reactor designs and a new method is seen as desirable.

Recent advances in computational speed in personal computers have made it feasible to attempt to design new reactors without any simplifications. While still prohibitive on normal desktop computers these calculations can be performed using Beowulf Clusters.

This poster will address the author's experience in designing, building, and using a 30 node Beowulf Cluster to design next generation nuclear reactors.

Abstract Author(s): Nathan Carstens