The path toward certification by simulation, Part 2: UQ lessons from NNSA
The movement to make certification of composite aircraft structures more affordable is gaining momentum. What lessons can be learned from the National Nuclear Security Administration's 20 years of work toward certification by simulation?
Dr. Mark Anderson is Technical Advisor to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE, Washington, D.C.). “We started looking at simulation-based certification about 15 to 20 years ago, and what would be required to achieve that,” he says. “The Verification & Validation (V&V) subprogram is a critical part of the roadmap we established to reach that goal. However, we are not there yet. We still are not certifying serious modifications to old designs and releasing those into the nuclear stockpile. We are probably still about 10 years away due to some unique issues.”
He gives an example that for some of the nuclear materials even small-scale experiments are extremely expensive. “So this has led us to the concept of developing very robust designs that take into account the uncertainties we have yet to resolve and then over time we will be able to build confidence and back off of the overdesign.”