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Enhancing Electric Grid, Critical Infrastructure, and Societal Resilience with Resilient Nuclear Power Plants (rNPPs)

Sherrell R. Greene

Nuclear Technology / Volume 205 / Number 3 / March 2019 / Pages 397-414

Technical Paper / dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2018.1505357

Received:May 21, 2018
Accepted:July 24, 2018
Published:February 14, 2019

This paper, the fourth in a series, presents the results of a study conducted to explore the role current U.S. commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) play and the role a new type of NPP—a resilient nuclear power plant (rNPP)—could play in enhancing U.S. electric Grid, Critical Infrastructure, and societal resilience. A rNPP is a NPP intentionally designed, sited, interfaced, and operated in a manner to enhance Grid resilience. Four specific rNPP applications are discussed: (1) rNPPs as “flexible operations” electricity generation assets, (2) rNPPs as anchors of nuclear hybrid energy systems, (3) rNPPs as Grid Black Start Resources, and (4) rNPPs as anchors of Resilient Critical Infrastructure Islands. These four applications, individually and collectively, could enhance U.S. Grid, Critical Infrastructure, and societal resilience during normal conditions and in the wake of major national calamities stemming from natural hazards and/or malevolent human actions. rNPPs would be both tactical and strategic resilience assets, thereby extending the value proposition of nuclear energy well beyond that associated with nuclear power’s traditional baseload electricity generation. These are important topics as society grows increasingly dependent on electricity, and the natural hazard and malevolent human threat portfolio to the Grid continues to evolve.

 
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