Nuclear Energy Future - National Council for Science and the ...

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Nuclear Energy Future - National Council for Science and the ...

Department of

Nuclear Engineering

& Radiation Health Physics

Nuclear Energy Future

A University Perspective

Andrew C. Klein, PhD, PE

Professor

Presentation to the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders Conference

Golden, Colorado November 4, 2010


The Nuclear Renaissance

• No reactors ordered for more than thirty years

• Consistently improving performance over that

same time period – 104 operating

• New licensing process – though untested

– Design certification

– Early site permitting

– Combined construction and operating license

• Waste and proliferation issues remain


Characteristics of the Nuclear

Renaissance

Nuclear license renewals and upgrades

• New plant license applications

• New advanced designs

• New industry and government interest

– Global warming assistance

• Domestic and global markets

– Large capacity electricity production

– Small and medium reactors (SMR)

– Electricity applications

– Process heat applications

• USDOE loan guarantee program

• Generation IV and SMR R&D program


Generation I

Early Prototype

Reactors

- Shippingport

- Dresden

- Fermi I

- Magnox

Evolution of Nuclear Power

Generation II

Commercial Power

Reactors

- LWR-PWR, BWR

- CANDU

- VVER/RBMK

Generation III

Advanced

LWRs

- ABWR

- System 80+

- AP600

- EPR

Generation III+

Near-Term

Deployment

- AP1000

- PBMR

- SWR-1000

- ABWR-II

Evolutionary

Improved Economics

1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030

Generation IV

- Highly

Economical

- Enhanced

Safety

- Minimal

Waste

- Proliferation

Resistant

Gen I Gen II Gen III Gen III+ Gen IV

1. U.S. Department of Energy Gen-IV Roadmap Report


But … building large new nuclear plants

remains a financial hurdle

Gen I & II Nuclear New Nuclear

Every plant is different NRC “Design Certification” standardizes

plant designs for 20 years

Separate licenses for Construction and

Operation

Combined Construction & Operating

License issued before construction begins

Capacity factors less than 70% Capacity factors routinely exceed 90%

Active safety systems require emergency

power to operate

All plants > 1000 MWe require large

financial commitment

Plants < 250 MWe too small and will not

be economic - economy of scale

Passive safety systems rely on natural

circulation

All plants > 1000 MWe require large

financial commitment

Reconsideration of plants < 250 MWe


SMRs reduce financing risks and have captured

the excitement of the market

• Modular scalable nuclear plants offer significant advantages

– Factory manufacturing lowers costs and on-site construction risks

– Simplicity enhances safety

– Smaller plants can be served by multiple domestic suppliers

– New capacity can be added to match load growth

• Bi-partisan legislation being proposed to fund new SMR’s

• Major industry conferences now focusing attention on small modular

reactors

• Media articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,

National Geographic, and numerous others have highlighted the

potential of SMRs

• Green Tech Media named ―Modular nuclear power‖ as Number 1 on

its list of ―Top Ten High Concepts‖ for 2009


US Department of Energy Proposing $39 Million

for Development of two LWR SMRs

―…investing in nuclear energy will position America to lead in

a growing industry. World-wide electricity generation is

projected to rise 77% by 2030. If we are serious about cutting

carbon pollution then nuclear power must be part of the

solution … even as we build a new generation of clean and

safe nuclear plants—we are constantly looking ahead to the

future of nuclear power … one of the most promising areas is

small modular reactors (SMRs).‖

Dr. Stephen Chu

Secretary of Energy

Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2010


500

450

400

350

300

250

200

150

100

50

0

Nuclear Engineering Degrees

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

BS NE

MS NE

PhD NE

Source: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education


120

100

80

60

40

20

0

Health Physics Degrees

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

BS HP

MS HP

PhD HP

Source: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education


Federal Programs for Nuclear

Energy University Support

US Department of Energy’s Nuclear

Energy University Program

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s

University Programs

National Nuclear Security

Administration Nuclear Science and

Security Consortium FOA


US Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy

University Program

Attract brightest and best students to the

nuclear professions and nurture our intellectual

capital in nuclear science and engineering

Integrate research and development at

universities, national labs, and industry to

revitalize nuclear education

Improve university and college infrastructures

for conducting R&D and educating students

Facilitate transfer of knowledge from aging

nuclear workforce to the next generation of

technicians, engineers and scientists.


US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s

University Grant Programs

• Program includes:

– Faculty Development

– Fellowships and Scholarships

– Trade School/Community College Scholarships

• A second program focuses upon:

– Courses, studies, training, curricula

– Disciplines pertaining to nuclear safety, security,

and environmental protection, etc. deemed

critical to the NRC mission


National Nuclear Security Administration

Program

• NNSA Nuclear Science and Security

Consortium FOA

– Envisions cooperative agreement with

universities

– Student and early career research

fellowships

– Build expertise in nonproliferation and

nuclear security

– Engagement with national laboratories

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