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Gordon Bell Prize finalists at Argonne use supercomputers to study nuclear reactor design and climate modeling

Two teams including scientists from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has been named a finalist for the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2023 Gordon Bell Award. Both teams conducted groundbreaking research using high-performance exascale computing tools, such as Frontier, a supercomputer from DOEOak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). One team focused on advanced research on nuclear reactor design and the other conducted research on climate modeling.

Penn State University nuclear engineering professor Elia Merzari, who also holds a joint appointment at Argonne, led the first team. Researchers simulated an advanced nuclear reactor system with unprecedented resolution, closely studying the interplay of temperature changes, fluid movement and radiation. Their experience included unique codes and software used to calculate reactions in fuel pin regions with minimal statistical error (less than 1%). This high-fidelity simulation revealed a first-of-its-kind resolution of an important process that occurs in advanced nuclear reactors.

As a result, scientists can further develop these types of reactors, whose advances nuclear energy The technology could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This would help the United States achieve its goal of combating climate change and decarbonizing industries.

Supercomputing The resources have made high-fidelity simulations possible, in part through the use of GPUs, or graphics processing units, as well as traditional CPUs, or central processing units. GPUs are essential for artificial intelligence/machine learning as well as the creation of simulations and data processing.

Merzari’s team published their results in a paper,​Exascale multiphysics nuclear reactor simulations for advanced designs.

We did not expect to be named a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Merzari.​We are honored and happy to be part of such a distinguished company and we appreciate the recognition from the community. The performance improvements we demonstrated, enabled by GPU The computing combined with the algorithmic advances made by the exascale computing project are exceptional.

Argonne colleagues Jun Fang, Paul Fischer, Misun Min and Paul Romano joined Merzari to co-author the paper, alongside Steven Hamilton and Thomas Evans of ORNL and researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Penn State University.

Argonne researchers Jayesh Krishna and Danquing Wu are part of a multi-laboratory team led by Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) chief computer scientist Mark Taylor of Sandia National Laboratory, nominated for the new Gordon Bell Prize for climate modeling.

THE E3SM The team ran an unprecedented high-resolution global atmosphere model on Frontier. Called simple cloud resolution E3SM Atmosphere model (SHOUT), it provides a more accurate representation of cloud processes and their impact on climate change and weather conditions. It is one of the few global atmospheric models designed to use GPUs, and the first to operate at a scale of approximately 3 km on an exascale system.

SHOUT was developed to create very high resolution simulations (less than 5 km) to simulate climate processes in a way that reduces uncertainty in climate model predictions. Its portable, high-performance design means the model runs efficiently on a variety of computer system architectures available today without affecting the model’s performance.

SHOUTThe calculation speed is also remarkable. This model is the first to be able to simulate the equivalent of a year’s cloud resolution in one day. Following its record-breaking run earlier this year, the Gordon Bell Prize submission recorded a performance of 1.26 simulated model years per day, 54% faster than a previous run. The simulation also generates terabytes of model output data without significantly affecting overall model performance, a remarkable performance for the model.

The whole team is proud to be nominated for the first ever Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modeling,” said Krishna.​This award is the highest distinction in high-performance computing. We have worked hard to develop a model for new exascale computers and are excited that our efforts are providing better and more accurate predictions of future climate impacts. This is a critical area of ​​scientific research.

The Gordon Bell Prize is awarded annually to recognize outstanding achievements in high-performance computing. Its goal is to track advances in parallel computing over time, with a particular emphasis on rewarding innovation in the application of high-performance computing to applications in science, engineering and large-scale data analysis. The winner will be announced at SC23the International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, Denver, CO in November.

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