Friday, August 16, 2019

Center for Advanced Energy Studies to receive NuScale control room simulator

Young guests SCRAM a NuScale Power Module on a control room simulator during a Friends & Family Day in Oregon. The Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls is slated to get a NuScale simulator in the next year, courtesy of a grant announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday it has awarded three grants to support the installation of NuScale reactor plant simulators at Oregon State University, Texas A&M University-College Station, and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) in Idaho Falls.

NuScale is the Corvallis, Oregon-based company that is collaborating with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) on the Carbon Free Power Project. The project involves installation of 12 small modular reactors (SMRs) at Idaho National Laboratory's desert site by the mid-2020s. The facility will be capable of generating 720 megawatts of electricity. NuScale’s technology is the world’s first and only SMR to undergo design certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is scheduled to complete its design review by September 2020.

The DOE grants are for $843,986 total, of which $285,763 is to build the Idaho Falls simulator at CAES, on MK Simpson Boulevard. CAES is a consortium made up of Idaho National Laboratory, University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State University and University of Wyoming.

"Housing the simulator at CAES in will facilitate collaboration with four university research institutions and experts in these fields at INL," said Richard Christensen, the lead collaborator from UI. "This simulator acquisition for these efforts is consistent with the UI's land grant mission to strengthen teaching, scholarly, and creative capacities statewide through new research pathways."

NuScale’s reactor simulator is a virtual nuclear power plant control room that includes an interface that accepts input from operators and displays parameters simulating plant response. The simulator facilitates research into human factors engineering, human-system interface design, advanced diagnostics, cyber security and plant control room automation. When completed, the simulator facilities will be used for research, education, K-12 outreach and public advocacy regarding nuclear power and small modular reactor (SMR) technology.