SC Solutions is a collaborating partner on a research and technology development team led by the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) on a project for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) titled Reducing Overnight Capital Cost of Advanced Reactors Using Equipment-based Seismic Protective Technologies. The project was awarded funding by the DOE through its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program: Modeling-Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration (MEITNER). The ARPA-E MEITNER program aims to identify and develop innovative technologies that can help ensure that advanced nuclear reactors have a path to commercial viability. The MEITNER program is allocating over $20 million to fund 10 project teams including the UB-led SC Solutions team.
The team’s efforts seek to reduce nuclear power plant complexity and cost by integrating seismic protection systems into the development of safety-grade nuclear equipment for advanced reactor designs. All nuclear power plants require seismic protection against earthquakes, and are made of large components typically custom-produced for each new plant construction. The team’s approach aims to adapt proven seismic isolation and damping technologies into modular protective systems for equipment, thereby simplifying plant design while enabling the use of standardized equipment that can be optimized for individual projects.
“We are excited to support this transformative project, finding practical ways to help bring down the cost of nuclear energy,” says Ben Kosbab, SC Solutions Lead for the project. SC Solutions will be involved in the project via (a) supporting the implementation of numerical codes in commercial software packages to the modeling and analysis of the modular seismic protective devices, including verification and validation, and (b) assisting in the dissemination and adoption of the technologies for commercial applications.
More information on the ARPA-E MEITNER awards is available here, with specific info about the UB team available here.