Sustainable nuclear power to promote energy security is a key national energy priority. The development of small modular reactors (SMRs) is expected to provide the United States with an economically viable energy option that supports this priority. Small modular reactors (SMR) are typically defined as nuclear reactors that have electrical output less than about 300 MWe . In recent years, SMRs are seeing renewed interest due to several factors: 1. Economy of scale. Modular or grid-appropriate reactors can be used to expand power plants to meet needs , resulting in potential economies of scale that larger reactors cannot easily provide. 2. Ease of fabrication/construction. The forging capabilities for the smaller reactor pressure vessels and piping necessary for SMRs are more readily available. This also enables potentially faster and easier construction of SMRs. 3. Usually grid-following. SMRs can ramp up or down production of electricity as needed as the modular design allows for better control of grid-appropriate reactors. 4. Improved safety characteristics. Most current SMR designs rely on passive rather than active safety systems.
Diagnostics and Prognostics for Safe and Secure Operation of Small Modular Reactors
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Ramuhalli, P, Meyer, R, & Bond, L. "Diagnostics and Prognostics for Safe and Secure Operation of Small Modular Reactors." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 Small Modular Reactors Symposium. ASME 2011 Small Modular Reactors Symposium. Washington, DC, USA. September 28–30, 2011. pp. 337-338. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMR2011-6653
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