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[en] SMR reactors are disadvantaged by the size effect that implies that their KWh are more expensive than those of common power nuclear reactors. SMR reactors have to gain competitiveness by playing on 3 issues: modularity (and as a consequence fabrication in factories), mass production and simplification of the concept. The potential market for SMR is the supply of power to remote regions not or little covered by power grids. Such regions can be found in the USA, Canada, Russia, China or Africa but certainly not in Europe where power grids are well developed. For the same reason the potential market for SMR is reduced in France but exists in some of its overseas regions like Guyana. (A.C.)
[en] South Africa's announcement that it is developing a roadmap for 2,500 MW of nuclear-powered generating capacity signals a policy revival that opens the door to all types of technologies and reactor sizes from 1,000 MW at the higher end to Generation N small modular reactors (SMRs) that range from 50-300 MW.
[en] In this research, we have developed a supervisory control approach to enable automated control of SMRs. By design the supervisory control system has an hierarchical, interconnected, adaptive control architecture. A considerable advantage to this architecture is that it allows subsystems to communicate at different/finer granularity, facilitates monitoring of process at the modular and plant levels, and enables supervisory control. We have investigated the deployment of automation, monitoring, and data collection technologies to enable operation of multiple SMRs. Each unit's controller collects and transfers information from local loops and optimize that unit’s parameters. Information is passed from the each SMR unit controller to the supervisory controller, which supervises the actions of SMR units and manage plant processes. The information processed at the supervisory level will provide operators the necessary information needed for reactor, unit, and plant operation. In conjunction with the supervisory effort, we have investigated techniques for fault-tolerant networks, over which information is transmitted between local loops and the supervisory controller to maintain a safe level of operational normalcy in the presence of anomalies. The fault-tolerance of the supervisory control architecture, the network that supports it, and the impact of fault-tolerance on multi-unit SMR plant control has been a second focus of this research. To this end, we have investigated the deployment of advanced automation, monitoring, and data collection and communications technologies to enable operation of multiple SMRs. We have created a fault-tolerant multi-unit SMR supervisory controller that collects and transfers information from local loops, supervise their actions, and adaptively optimize the controller parameters. The goal of this research has been to develop the methodologies and procedures for fault-tolerant supervisory control of small modular reactors. To achieve this goal, we have identified the following objectives. These objective are an ordered approach to the research: I) Development of a supervisory digital I&C system II) Fault-tolerance of the supervisory control architecture III) Automated decision making and online monitoring.
[en] Russia says it faces inevitable challenges with plans to build its first land-based small modular reactor because of poor transport infrastructure in the eastern public of Yakutia, but is confident the project will go ahead and that the country has a big enough domestic market for serial SMR production - which could begin as soon as 2030.
[en] New designs of reactors are studied worldwide, a great part of which being of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) type. The limited output power (less than 300 MWe) makes SMR an integrated reactor whose all components can be located in a unique pressure vessel. It also allows the implementation of passive safety systems which results in a far longer period of time for the operator to intervene in case of accident. The modular design of SMR allows the construction, testing of the modules in factory. Easily movable, the modules are carried to the site where they are set up. A fleet of several SMR units can be more flexible than a big reactor to complement power production from renewable energies. Experts think that the first SMR to be built will be of PWR-type because of its success in today's nuclear power plants. Beyond electricity production the SMR can be used for producing heat through cogeneration, for desalination or for hydrogen production. The SMR enlarges the nuclear demand for countries that have not a full-fledged distribution network of electricity. A SMR can be brought to supply electricity to a remote plant or town. Canada thinks to use SMR for providing heat and steam to its mining activities. The investment in one SMR is around 1 billion euros. (A.C.)
[en] SMR (Small Modular Reactor) could lead the renaissance of nuclear technology by luring young engineers on innovative and practical projects. However the implementation of SMRs with its new concepts of in-plant fabrication and on-site assembling require a double international standardization: a standardisation of the design and a standardization of licensing regulations. This double standardisation will allow SMR components fabricated in a plant to be assembled in a site located in another country without costly modifications. The IAEA has created a task group gathering reactor designers and regulators to prepare the way for changes in regulations. (A.C.)
[en] Outline: 1. Setting up the problem: current situation on EPZ for operating reactors (mostly large LWR); 2. SMR features that may impact EPZ; 3. The CRP on SMR EPZ: background, objectives and expected outcomes; 4. Key aspects to be taken into account for EPZ/D determination and its inclusion in CRP.
[en] Small modular reactors (SMR) are considered by many experts as the future of nuclear energy, because they contribute to innovation and aim at standardization and simplifying nuclear technology. Moreover they meet the demand of emerging countries interested in nuclear energy but not in high power reactors, these countries may be seduced by shortened construction schedules and reduced initial investments. 10 years ago preliminary works were launched through a consortium of 4 entities: EDF, CEA, Naval Group and Technicatome. The challenge was to propose a safe and reliable factory-made reactor, today the consortium proposes Nuward, its SMR project. SMR reactors offer the possibility to provide electricity to remote regions but not only. They can propose carbon-free solutions for the world of tomorrow concerning urban heating, seawater desalination, hydrogen production or nuclear cogeneration. (A.C.)
[en] SMR (small modular reactors) reactors have generally an output power ranging from 10 to 300 MWe and are modular which means that they can be built in a factory and assembled on site. SMR reactors can be used for power production but also for heat production, hydrogen production, sea-water desalination or support to alternative renewable energies. The modular design gives flexibility to power production as the number of SMR can grow following power demand. The most advanced SMR projects are being developed in USA, Canada, China and Russia. Nuscale reactor, an American project, is an integrated SMR reactor with an output power of 77 MWe and cooled through natural convection (it does not require any primary coolant pump). Russia has installed 2 SMR reactors on the 'Akademik Lomonosov' ship to supply power and heat to the Pevek port in Siberia. The Nuward project is being developed in France. According to the IAEA, more than 70 projects of SMR are being developed in the world, among them 14 are high-temperature, gas-cooled reactors, 10 are molten salt reactors, 11 are fast reactors and others are pressurized water reactors or boiled water reactors. (A.C.)
[en] SMRs promise low cost, reliable, low carbon base load power whilst avoiding the pitfalls and cost over runs that have been the hallmark of large nuclear programs. However, arranging the financing for SMRs is extremely challenging and without financing, even the best SMR design will not come to fruition. This presentation will explore the challenges of financing SMRs, a comparison to the financing challenges faced by large nuclear projects and some potential solutions. This will not be a 'technical' presentation on SMRs but instead a practical viewpoint from a financier who has been involved in financing UK's 3200 MW Hinkley Point C new nuclear project and other low carbon power generation projects worldwide.