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Digital Twin Concepts with Uncertainty for Nuclear Power Applications

by 1,* and 2
Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guglielmo Lomonaco
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4235;
Received: 20 May 2021 / Revised: 30 June 2021 / Accepted: 6 July 2021 / Published: 14 July 2021
Digital Twins (DTs) are receiving considerable attention from multiple disciplines. Much of the literature at this time is dedicated to the conceptualization of digital twins, and associated enabling technologies and challenges. In this paper, we consider these propositions for the specific application of nuclear power. Our review finds that the current DT concepts are amenable to nuclear power systems, but benefit from some modifications and enhancements. Further, some areas of the existing modeling and simulation infrastructure around nuclear power systems are adaptable to DT development, while more recent efforts in advanced modeling and simulation are less suitable at this time. For nuclear power applications, DT development should rely first on mechanistic model-based methods to leverage the extensive experience and understanding of these systems. Model-free techniques can then be adopted to selectively, and correctively, augment limitations in the model-based approaches. Challenges to the realization of a DT are also discussed, with some being unique to nuclear engineering, however most are broader. A challenging aspect we discuss in detail for DTs is the incorporation of uncertainty quantification (UQ). Forward UQ enables the propagation of uncertainty from the digital representations to predict behavior of the physical asset. Similarly, inverse UQ allows for the incorporation of data from new measurements obtained from the physical asset back into the DT. Optimization under uncertainty facilitates decision support through the formal methods of optimal experimental design and design optimization that maximize information gain, or performance, of the physical asset in an uncertain environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital twin; nuclear power; uncertainty quantification digital twin; nuclear power; uncertainty quantification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kochunas, B.; Huan, X. Digital Twin Concepts with Uncertainty for Nuclear Power Applications. Energies 2021, 14, 4235.

AMA Style

Kochunas B, Huan X. Digital Twin Concepts with Uncertainty for Nuclear Power Applications. Energies. 2021; 14(14):4235.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kochunas, Brendan, and Xun Huan. 2021. "Digital Twin Concepts with Uncertainty for Nuclear Power Applications" Energies 14, no. 14: 4235.

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