NuScale Power recently installed a new simulation laboratory at Texas A&M University. The lab is the third of its kind built in the United States and will be used to help broaden the understanding of the company’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology.
The SMR simulation lab was installed at the Center for Advanced Small Modular and Micro Reactors (CASMR) facility in College Station, Texas. The simulator provides a hands-on learning experience in operating a 12-unit NuScale SMR power plant and allows users to observe the plant’s responses based on their input.
The simulator helps facilitate research into human factors engineering, human-system interface design, advanced diagnostics, cyber security, and plant control automation. It will also be used for education and public outreach activities on next-generation nuclear technologies.
“The simulator will help enhance CASMR’s outreach opportunities and broaden the understanding of the working of state-of-the-art modular nuclear plants among students, researchers and operators at off-site locations,” said Dr. Yassin Hassan, director of CASMR, Regents Professor and holder of the Peterson Chair in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering.
“The Department of Energy and its university partners are playing a pivotal role in the development and deployment of SMR technologies,” said Suibel Schuppner, the director of the Office of Nuclear Energy Technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “These simulation laboratories are an incredible asset in helping to train our future workforce on advanced nuclear technologies.”
NuScale partnered with Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station through a $286,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program. The company’s Energy Exploration Center is the third and final facility funded through the grant to advance SMR research and workforce training. NuScale also installed simulation labs in Idaho and Oregon.
DOE has invested more than $400 million since 2014 to accelerate the development and deployment of SMRs.
NuScale’s technology is so far the world’s first and only SMR to undergo design certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company's first commercial power plant is expected to begin operating at Idaho National Laboratory by 2030.
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