The CEA and ANDRA research centers, leaders in the domain of nuclear energy, aim to improve the productivity and availability of the "ALLIANCES" simulation codes by building on SALOME, a generic, open-source platform for numerical simulation.
The Nuclear Energy Division of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA/DEN) has ordered a turnkey development from Open CASCADE with the goal of extending the use of the "ALLIANCES" numerical simulation codes. These codes allow calculating long-term behavior in the storage of radioactive wastes and evaluating interactions with the geological environment. Open CASCADE services correspond to over 3000 man-days of development.
The project covers two major objectives: in a first phase, the industrialization of the SALOME platform, previously available in a research version only; in a second, the integration of the "ALLIANCES" modeling and simulation platform within SALOME. Since October 2002, the Open CASCADE Company has been the prime contractor in charge of industrializing SALOME, in order to meet the criteria of performance and quality necessary for the continuation of the project.
"ALLIANCES" includes numerical simulation codes from the CEA and from ANDRA, as well as other codes from public and private sectors. Integrating these codes within SALOME ensures retaining control over the different codes while allowing their use in an end-user environment in Open Source.
This project confirms the current trend among large corporations and research centers of showing increased confidence in open-source developments and their associated services. According to Thierry Nkaoua, Simulation Project Manager for the Department of Simulation and Experimental Tools, "Thanks to the availability of the SALOME platform and to the know-how of the Open CASCADE teams, we are able to focus on our specialization in modeling and scientific calculation, supported by software engineering professionals. Open CASCADE has both thorough experience in software industrialization and a profound understanding of our needs in simulation."
As of today, three intermediate deliveries have been completed, including the first industrial version of the SALOME platform. Final delivery is scheduled for December 2003. This will allow carrying out modeling and analysis as stipulated by current French legislation, using a trade-specific tool that ensures both the quality and the pertinence of simulation studies.