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Missouri S&T small modular reactor consortium funds two initiatives

14 January 2014

Missouri’s multi-university Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Research and Education Consortium, led by Missouri University of Science and Technology, has selected its first two research initiatives for funding.

  • The first initiative will involve research aimed at identifying and establishing a sustainable supply chain for SMRs.

    Dr. Kwame Awuah-Offei, an associate professor of mining engineering at S&T, Dr. Suzanna Long, an assistant professor of engineering management at S&T, and Dr. Shoaib Usman, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at S&T, will lead the “SMR Supply Chain Assessment” research project.

  • The second initiative will investigate and identify uncertainty involved in numerical simulation of thermal-hydraulic flow inside an SMR using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This work, referred to as “verification and validation” of CFD codes, will help provide software tools to evaluate SMR design and operation.

    The research effort to establish a verified and validated CFD code to simulate thermal-hydraulic flows inside a light-water nuclear reactor will be led by Smith and Dr. Muthanna Al-Dahhan, professor and chair of chemical and biochemical engineering at S&T. This work will help assess safety issues associated with the design and operation of an SMR.

The consortium, established in July 2013 with Ameren Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Co. as founding members, is supported by a $250,000-grant from the Missouri Technology Corp. In collaboration with the University of Missouri-Columbia, S&T conducts research through the consortium that will benefit the nuclear energy industry.

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Comments

Multiple small reactors is a very good idea for the future because France has clearly demonstrated that a large reactor cannot be built in less than 20 years with its designs, but CANDU units from Canada can be built in four or five years.

Heavy water is highly available and should be used to make the reactors as small as possible. Turbines should also be as small as possible for each reactor. Efficiency of fuel use is not much of a concern in either coal fired or nuclear power plants. Fuel use is less than one forth the cost of power to a consumer for coal and far less than that for nuclear.

Canada has a lot of stored heavy water and it should lease it because deuterium is not much destroyed in reactors. India also has a surplus of production but not if deuterium modular reactors can be sold to India as they will buy all that can be produced. ..HG..

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