Date

2019 12:00 AM

Major

Physics

Department

Physics

College

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project Advisor

Gregory Maxwell

Description

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a class of fission reactors with power ratings between 10 to 300 MWe which can be utilized as modules in the unit assembly of a nuclear steam supply system. SMRs occupy a critical aspect in the completion of the nuclear fuel cycle and have the potential to provide efficient, reliable, and sustainable electrical power via the concepts currently reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency. As a Generation IV system, proposed SMRs must adhere to the following four priority areas of technology: development of sustainable nuclear energy, maintaining or increasing competitiveness, improving and enhancing safety and reliability, and ensuring proliferation resistance and physical protection. Utilizing the historical method and a simplified sustainability assessment, a timeline of precedents contributing to the development of SMRs and an appraisal of such nuclear power systems were constructed. The SCALE Code System was then employed in the creation of an SMR designed on the basis of long-term operation with high fuel utilization. The results for this work signify that the applications of SMRs are bolstered by the maturity of nuclear energy technologies and are capable of addressing the United States’ energy concerns and supporting international nuclear safety and nonproliferation goals.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

On the Development, Applicability, and Design Considerations of Generation IV Small Modular Reactors

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a class of fission reactors with power ratings between 10 to 300 MWe which can be utilized as modules in the unit assembly of a nuclear steam supply system. SMRs occupy a critical aspect in the completion of the nuclear fuel cycle and have the potential to provide efficient, reliable, and sustainable electrical power via the concepts currently reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency. As a Generation IV system, proposed SMRs must adhere to the following four priority areas of technology: development of sustainable nuclear energy, maintaining or increasing competitiveness, improving and enhancing safety and reliability, and ensuring proliferation resistance and physical protection. Utilizing the historical method and a simplified sustainability assessment, a timeline of precedents contributing to the development of SMRs and an appraisal of such nuclear power systems were constructed. The SCALE Code System was then employed in the creation of an SMR designed on the basis of long-term operation with high fuel utilization. The results for this work signify that the applications of SMRs are bolstered by the maturity of nuclear energy technologies and are capable of addressing the United States’ energy concerns and supporting international nuclear safety and nonproliferation goals.