ANS Nuclear Cafe – Small Modular Reactors, or SMRs, have been under consideration in many quarters of late as a new focus for nuclear power generation. While the recent deadline for Department of Energy grant money came and went without so much as a whisper from the DOE, the concept continues to be developed. Quite a few presentations have been made, as a result, on reactors of this class here at the ANS 2012 Winter Meeting.
There were two interesting dissertations on Mitsubishi’s MHR-50is/MHR-100is (the “is” stands for “inherent safety”) gas-cooled, graphite-moderated small reactor designs: First, a presentation on general features of the MHR-50is, which is a 120-MWt/50-MWe helium-cooled reactor, and second an interesting analysis of the core stresses applied to this type of reactor during an earthquake.
There were two presentations concerning General Atomics and its EM2 design. We learned about a complicated but highly clever method to simulate plant response for the EM2 reactor, and then were given a thorough dissertation by Timothy Bertch of General Atomics on how the EM2 can overcome the economic factors that tend normally to work against smaller output reactors.
There was a very detailed presentation by Sung Yeop Joung of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology on the design attempt to add an IPSS (integrated passive safety system) to the SMART SMR plant design. The SMART was actually type approved by the Korean government earlier this year, and the SMART is being advertised as the first SMR that has been licensed and can be built.