World’s Fastest Computer to Design Nuclear Power Plants

Interesting story on The Register today. The US will use the fastest supercomputer, called “Jaguar“, to design the latest nuclear reactors and the future ITER Fusion Project.

Because of the incredible speed of Jaguar, power plant designers have more capability to simulate plans and designs. “We’re now simulating entire nuclear facilities, such as a nuclear power reactor facility with its auxiliary buildings and the ITER fusion reactor, with much greater accuracy than any other organization that we’re aware of”, said John Wagner, Technical Integration Manager for Nuclear Modelling at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Just how fast is Jaguar? It is rated at a blazing 1.75 petaflops. According to Wikipedia,  “FLOPS (or flops or flop/s) is an acronym meaning FLoating point Operations Per Second. The FLOPS is a measure of a computer’s performance, especially in fields of scientific calculations that make heavy use of floating point calculations.” A simple calculator runs at about 10 FLOPS. A petaflop is 10 to the 15th power FLOPS. That’s a lot of FLOPS!

What is amazing to is how cheap and fast computers have become. According to Wikipedia, in 1961 a Gigaflop cost about 1.1 Trillion dollars, and required 17 million IBM 1620’s to produce. In 2009, a single ATI Radeon video card topped out at 3.04 teraflops bringing the cost per Gigaflop down to about oh, thirteen cents. Wow…

Putting all the technobable aside, Jaguar is fast, really fast, and yes… it runs Linux!


2 thoughts on “World’s Fastest Computer to Design Nuclear Power Plants”

  1. ITER is big alright. ITER is a big fat*** theft of taxpayer dollars, just like every single other publicly-funded fusion ‘program’.

    Each one is a huge fat*** black hole sucking down taxpayer dollars that could have been spent on better things than giant corporate welfare programs. Like housing for the people, like guaranteed annual income, like population reduction, like environmental protection.

    It is time to halt these boondoggles before they suck up more precious taxpayer dollars which are so desperately needed to help the ever-growing underclass of people living in poverty.

    The taxpayer is being told to starve so these trojan programs can continue to leech away their livelihoods. Witness today’s ‘Austerity’ programs beginning to spread through Europe and soon everywhere… there will be no money for your children or retirement as the elites are spending every Country into bankrupcy with their Wars and so-called Defense Spending and spending on toxic Fission and blackhole Fusion ‘technologies’.

    From its inception to today, fusion has been a gigantic blackhole welfare program for the rich corporations and their scientistic employees with the starving taxpayer footing the bill.

    No more. Its time to end all public funding for these so-called ‘energy’ programs. If there’s money in it let the so-called ‘Free Market’ fund it. After all, those richie private investors already have trillions floating around that they don’t know what to do with, why don’t they risk their own assets and asses instead of making the taxpayer the victim? Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy.

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