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Visual Workshop as the Single Model Editor for the ANSWERS Shielding and Criticality Codes

David Dewar, Andrew J. Cooper, Adam Bird, Pat Cowan

Nuclear Technology / Volume 168 / Number 3 / December 2009 / Pages 975-978

Miscellaneous / Special Issue on the 11th International Conference on Radiation Shielding and the 15th Topical Meeting of the Radiation Protection and Shielding Division (PART 3) / Radiation Protection /

In this paper, we describe the design philosophy behind Visual Workshop, a model-viewing program. Visual Workshop is being developed as part of the nuclear codes development consortium between BNFL Group and Serco Assurance and will be marketed via Serco Assurance's ANSWERS Software Service. Visual Workshop is a Java-based program that allows shielding and criticality engineers to visualize their computational models for the ANSWERS computational codes in a multiplicity of ways - wireframe and two-dimensional and three-dimensional ray trace - via a single graphical interface.

Visual Workshop integrates the cross-platform portability of Java with the existing FORTRAN calculation engines that are used successfully with the existing ANSWERS visualization codes. The use of the Swing graphical user interface library provides a common look-and-feel on all platforms. Visual Workshop also has the innovation of employing JOGL, the Java binding to OpenGL, thus gaining the advantages of hardware support that OpenGL can bring. Visual Workshop has also made use of open-source freely licensed applications to provide functionality and to speed up development.

Visual Workshop will act as a single interface for the checking of models, the submission of jobs, and the examination of job output. As such it builds upon the experiences gained using the suite of ANSWERS tools by expanding the existing capabilities to allow for the selective display of parameterized models, allow more effective error checking, and provide additional postprocessing and results display capabilities.

Visual Workshop provides capabilities and tools for the engineers to refine and verify their models in a way that enhances their productivity.

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