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Robotics & Remote Systems
The Mission of the Robotics and Remote Systems Division is to promote the development and application of immersive simulation, robotics, and remote systems for hazardous environments for the purpose of reducing hazardous exposure to individuals, reducing environmental hazards and reducing the cost of performing work.
Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2023)
February 6–9, 2023
Amelia Island, FL|Omni Amelia Island Resort
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Nuclear energy: enabling production of food, fiber, hydrocarbon biofuels, and negative carbon emissions
In the 1960s, Alvin Weinberg at Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated a series of studies on nuclear agro-industrial complexes1 to address the needs of the world’s growing population. Agriculture was a central component of these studies, as it must be. Much of the emphasis was on desalination of seawater to provide fresh water for irrigation of crops. Remarkable advances have lowered the cost of desalination to make that option viable in countries like Israel. Later studies2 asked the question, are there sufficient minerals (potassium, phosphorous, copper, nickel, etc.) to enable a prosperous global society assuming sufficient nuclear energy? The answer was a qualified “yes,” with the caveat that mineral resources will limit some technological options. These studies were defined by the characteristic of looking across agricultural and industrial sectors to address multiple challenges using nuclear energy.
Konor Frick, Shannon Bragg-Sitton
Nuclear Technology | Volume 207 | Number 4 | April 2021 | Pages 521-542
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2020.1781497
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the development of a NuScale power module in the Modelica process model ecosystem at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy Integrated Energy Systems (IES) program.
Model development has led to the creation of a dynamic NuScale module in the Modelica language that operates under natural circulation and is consistent with design parameters set forth in the design certification documentation for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Controllers have been developed that are consistent with controllers mentioned by NuScale design certification documents. While characteristic time constants may differ due to controller gains, the actual control actions of the system are consistent with NuScale prescribed actions. In addition to natural circulation and controllers, the NuScale power module includes hot channel calculations, reactivity control, and a pressurizer. Hot channel calculations include bulk fluid temperature, outer clad temperature, fuel centerline temperature, and departure from nuclear boiling ratios. Reactivity control incorporates moderator and fuel temperature feedback mechanisms, boron concentration, and control bank positions. A pressurizer with sprays and heaters was developed to maintain primary system pressure within bounds. Further, the model has been developed to allow the user to input beginning-, middle-, or end-of-cycle reactivity conditions.
Three simulations were run that demonstrate the capability of the model controllers to meet target parameters while preserving system values within reasonable bounds. The first simulation is an initialization study at 160 MW(thermal)/50 MW(electric) that compares the model steady-state values with the design certification values. This simulation demonstrates the capability of the model to operate in natural circulation mode and closely matches operating values set forth in the NRC design certification documents. The second simulation is a power uprate from 160 MW(thermal)/50 MW(electric) to 200 MW(thermal)/60 MW(electric), and the final simulation is of a typical summer day where the turbine demand oscillates throughout the day. These illustrate the capabilities of the system to operate under natural circulation while maintaining system parameters within controller bounds and to match turbine output with turbine demand.
This work adds a systems-level model of the NuScale power module with associated control systems, reactivity coefficients, control banks, coolant through fuel temperature profiles, and associated mass flow rates throughout the system that have been added to the Modelica ecosystem. This model will be the basis of work that is utilized in the Joint Use Modular Plant program at INL, which proposes to utilize a single power module to support research, development, and demonstration activities, with a specific aim to demonstrate various IES configurations. As part of the ecosystem, the NuScale module can be quickly integrated with existing Modelica modules (e.g., thermal energy storage, reverse osmosis, high-temperature steam electrolysis, gas turbines) to model energy grids in different geographical locations.