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Thermal-hydraulic Simulations and Optimization (TSO)

CFD Modell
  • Safety analyses on nuclear and fusion systems
  • Design and analyses of reactor cores and subassemblies
  • Thermal hydraulic multi-scaled simulation methods (system, subchannel and CFD) 
  • Model development on basic thermal hydraulic processes


The activities of the group for “Method Developments for Innovative Reactor Systems” are embedded with the Nuclear Safety Research Program (NUKLEAR) of KIT Energy Centre and in the HGF Research Area ENERGY. In addition, part of the activities is also integrated into the European Fusion Technology Programme of the European Union.

The nuclear fission research is focused on innovative reactor concepts. The main research topics are the further development and validation of multi-scale thermal hydraulic simulation tools for design optimisation and safety assessment at the micro-, meso- and macro scale.

The research topics within the Nuclear Fusion Programme are devoted to thermal hydraulics investigations of the components of both the ITER like the test blanket module and its respective experimental loops (e.g. HELOKA) and of the experimental mock-ups of the International Fusion Material Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) under development. Both CFD and thermal hydraulic system tools are being intensively applied for different kind of thermal hydraulic analysis of experimental loops and mock-up.


Competence Areas within the NUKLEAR Programme:

  • Multi-scale thermal hydraulics codes for fission reactors
    • Multi-scale thermal hydraulics methods and codes e.g. micro-scale (CFD), meso-scale (sub-channel codes), and macro-scale (1D and 3D system thermal hydraulics codes )
    • Validation and qualification of numerical simulations tools e.g. two phase flows
    • Analyses of complex experiments and loops cooled with gas, liquid metals or water
    • Safety analyses on innovative reactor concepts 


  • Contribution to education and competence conservation
    • Internships, master thesis, doctoral thesis
    • Lectureship on nuclear engineering at KIT


Competence Areas within the FUSION Programme:

  • Thermal hydraulic investigations with system codes of He-cooled circuits like HELOKA as part of the Test Blanket Module development for the ITER fusion reactor. The European Test Module HCPB TBM (Helium cooled pebble bed test blanket module) is one of the six Test blanket modules in ITER. The circuit HELOKA is under construction to investigate the dynamic behaviour of the circuit during off normal situations.


  • The International Fusion Material Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) is a key facility for providing an intense neutron source for high flux irradiation tests of fusion reactor candidate materials. The accelerator provides a 125 mA beam of 40 MeV deuterons striking a thick target of flowing liquid lithium to produce high energy neutrons for the irradiation of material samples at a radiation load as anticipated for a future fusion power reactor. The detailed CFD simulations are focused on the assessment of the coolability of the irradiation samples which are positioned in a complex geometry.