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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » February 23, 2012
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HELPING design nuclear power PLANTS
February 23, 2012   
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The Institute for Nuclear Studies (IPJ) in 安ierk near Warsaw has launched a trial version of a supercomputer system to help design nuclear power plants and provide calculations on nuclear power safety.

The system is part of an IT center being developed by the institute in a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Program. The project involves the development of a supercomputing center to provide scientists, engineers and government institutions with computing power in areas related to nuclear energy.

The trial system involves 150 gigabytes of operating memory and 50 terabytes of disk space, said Adam Padee, head of the team working to develop the computer system. The team plans to follow up with developing infrastructure providing tens of thousands of processors, tens of terabytes of operational memory and several petabytes of disk space. Users will have various software environments at their disposal, according to Padee.

IPJ director Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna said, “One of our priorities will be to carry out calculations and safety analyses of designed, constructed and operated nuclear installations. By partnering with nuclear safety organizations worldwide, we have been collecting computer codes that enable us to model processes taking place in nuclear installations and operate devices and power plant systems even under the most extreme conditions—such as those that occurred in Fukushima, Japan.”

The experts and analysts at the 安ierk IT center are learning to use programs obtained from institutions including the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

安ierk IT Center director Prof. Wojciech Wi郵icki said the center will make its capacity available to users including both the institute’s own researchers and outside users.

In addition to computing power, the center will offer a number of ready tools and an environment for running users’ own applications. The experts at the IT center will also work with users to create dedicated algorithmic solutions, Wi郵icki said.

The center’s supercomputers will also be used to design optimal energy and mobile telecommunications networks and to forecast the spread of pollution in urban environments, for example.

Large computing power will also enable researchers to conduct complex statistical analyses. Using a grant from the Foundation for Polish Science, the IPJ is currently building a team of researchers to work on the statistical verification of scientific hypotheses in the field of elementary particle physics. The center will also make its capacity and services available to other scientific institutions and interested businesses.
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