The funding will be aimed at develop digital twin technology for reducing operations and maintenance (O&M) costs in the next generation of nuclear power plants
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $27m funding for advanced nuclear reactor systems operational technology.
The Department has granted the funding for nine projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) program.
The nine projects aim to develop digital twin technology for reducing operations and maintenance (O&M) costs in the next generation of nuclear power plants by 10-times for making them more economical, flexible, and efficient.
DOE Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said: “As the United States’ largest provider of clean, emissions-free energy, nuclear power is an essential component of our Nation’s electricity supply.
“Investing in projects and R&D that will make our nuclear fleet more efficient and cost-effective is critical to ensuring this clean, reliable energy source continues to power our country for years to come.”
GEMINA teams will create tools to introduce greater flexibility in reactor systems
According to DOE, the GEMINA teams will develop digital twins as well as the associated technologies for advanced nuclear reactors that will be used to design O&M frameworks for the next generation of nuclear power plants.
They will also create tools to introduce greater flexibility in reactor systems, increase autonomy in operations, and accelerate design iteration, with an aim to reduce costs at advanced reactor power plants.
The digital twin technologies will be developed for robust O&M strategies that can enable more flexible operations for integration into an electrical grid with a large fraction of intermittent generation resources.
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) director Lane Genatowski said: “Advanced nuclear reactors have the potential to provide reliable and low-cost clean power to millions of American homes.
“These GEMINA teams are working to develop tools for the advanced reactors of tomorrow to improve operations and lower maintenance costs by designing more autonomous, and efficient processes.”
Recently, DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy has agreed to provide approximately $131m funding for carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) research and development (R&D) projects.