IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho National Laboratory’s third supercomputer arrived in their facility this week to enable researchers to faster simulate new fuels and reactor designs, officials said.
The $19.2 million supercomputer includes about 100,000 processors and is named Sawtooth after the Idaho mountain range, the Post Register reported Wednesday. The system, ranked 37th on the 2019 Top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, is expected to calculate mathematical equations at about six times the speed of the current systems, officials said.
The Idaho Falls center is one of the national laboratories of the Department of Energy and is managed by the Battelle Energy Alliance, officials said. The laboratory has historically been involved with nuclear research.
“With advanced modeling and simulation and the computing power now available, we expect to be able to dramatically shorten the time it takes to test, manufacture and commercialize new nuclear technologies,” associate laboratory director John Wagner said. “Other industries and organizations, such as aerospace, have relied on modeling and simulation to bring new technologies to market much faster without compromising safety and performance.”
Sawtooth is expected to be housed in the Collaborative Computing Center, opened in October with the new Cybercore Integration Center, officials said.
The supercomputer is expected to be available to users early next year and provide computer access to researchers in Idaho and other national laboratories, universities and private industry, officials said. Researchers would be able to access the supercomputers remotely through an ultra-high-speed optic network, officials said.
“This system represents a significant increase in computing resources supporting nuclear energy research and development and will be the primary system for DOE’s nuclear energy modeling and simulation activities,” division director Eric Whiting said. “It will help guide the future of nuclear energy.”