Current IssuesDOE's Nuclear Energy Programs

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The development of clean, affordable nuclear power options is a key element of the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap. As a part of this strategy, a high priority of the Department has been to help accelerate the timelines for the commercialization and deployment of small modular reactor (SMR) technologies through the SMR Licensing Technical Support program. Begun in FY12, the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support program will advance the certification and licensing of domestic SMR designs that are relatively mature and can be deployed in the next decade.

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Current IssuesDOE's Nuclear Energy Programs

  1. 1. Current Issues DOE's Nuclear Energy Programs Dr. Peter Lyons Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy U.S. Department of Energy SFANS Paris, France September 23, 2013
  2. 2. 2 Nuclear Energy Plays an Important Role in US Energy Supply  Nuclear power is a clean, reliable base load energy source  Provides 19% of U.S. electricity generation mix  Provides 61% of U.S. emission-free electricity  Avoids about 700 MMTCO2 each year  Helps reduces overall NOx and SOx levels  U.S. electricity demand projected to increase ~28% by 2040 from 2011 levels  100 GWe nuclear capacity - 100 operating plants  Fleet maintaining close to 90% average capacity factors  Most expected to apply for license renewal for 60 years of operation. Nuclear 19% Electricity Production, 2012 Total: 4,054,485 GWh Nuclear 61% Conven. Hydro 22% Wind 11% Solar 0% Geo- thermal 1% Biomass 5% Net Non-Carbon Emitting Sources of Electricity, 2012 Source: Energy Information Administration
  3. 3. 3 President Obama’s Nuclear Energy Goals "We have an obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged, and by taking steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution and an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy … Thanks to the ingenuity of our businesses, we're starting to produce much more of our own energy. We're building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades in Georgia and South Carolina.“ - Georgetown University June 26th, 2013
  4. 4. 4 Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz confirmed on May 16, 2013  Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems at MIT and founding Director of the MIT Energy Initiative and of the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment  Under Secretary of the Department of Energy (1997 to 2001)  Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President (1995-1997)  Served on the President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee; the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future; and the Council on Foreign Relations  Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Humboldt Foundation, and the American Physical Society.  Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in Physics from Boston College, Doctorate in Theoretical Physics from Stanford University
  5. 5. 5 “I believe small modular reactors could represent the next generation of nuclear energy technology, providing a strong opportunity for America to lead this emerging global industry.” Secretary Moniz on Nuclear Energy “We are committed to fostering the safe and secure contribution of nuclear power to the global energy mix.” IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security – July 1, 2013 U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resource Confirmation Hearing April 9, 2013
  6. 6. 6 Key Areas of Focus  Small Modular Reactors  Progress on Back End of Fuel Cycle  Fukushima Dai-ichi accident response and research impacts
  7. 7. 7 Why are SMR technologies of interest to DOE? Safety Benefits  Passive decay heat removal by natural circulation  Smaller source term inventory  Simplified design eliminates/mitigates several postulated accidents  Below grade reactor siting  Potential for reduction in Emergency Planning Zone Economic Benefits  Reduced financial risk  Flexibility to add units  Right size for replacement of old coal plants  Use domestic forgings and manufacturing  Job creation NE working definition of SMRs: reactor units with a nominal output of 300 MWe or less and are able to have large components or modules fabricated remotely and transported to the site for assembly of components and operation.
  8. 8. 8 SMR Licensing Technical Support Program  Supports first phase for deployment  Facilitates and accelerates commercial development and deployment of near term U.S. SMR designs at domestic locations  $452 M in cost-share program over 6 years • FY12 funding is $67M and FY14 request is $70M  DOE has selected one award under the first SMR funding opportunity announcement (FOA) – Babcock and Wilcox mPower Design selected  DOE issued a second FOA that places more emphasis on innovation in improved safety attributes and further reduces regulatory risk for some of the SMR technologies through:  lower core damage frequencies  longer post-accident coping periods  enhanced resistance to natural phenomena  potentially smaller emergency preparedness zones  smaller workforce requirements ** Both the 1st and 2nd funding opportunities will be funded out of the $452M program**
  9. 9. 9 Babcock and Wilcox (B&W) Selected for First SMR Award  The Department has selected Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Bechtel, to receive the first award under the SMR Licensing Technical Support Program.  The mPower SMR design is technically well-conceived with a viable path to certification and licensing that has been worked aggressively with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over several years leading to this selection.  ~180 MWe  Utilizes standard UO2 LWR fuel  Up to 4 year refueling interval  Provides air-cooled condenser option
  10. 10. 10 Blue Ribbon Commission Recommendations 1. A new, consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities. 2. A new organization dedicated solely to implementing the waste management program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed. 3. Access to the funds nuclear utility ratepayers are providing for the purpose of nuclear waste management. 4. Prompt efforts to develop one or more geologic disposal facilities. 5. Prompt efforts to develop one or more consolidated storage facilities. 6. Prompt efforts to prepare for the eventual large-scale transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste to consolidated storage and disposal facilities when such facilities become available. 7. Support for continued U.S. innovation in nuclear energy technology and for workforce development. 8. Active U.S. leadership in international efforts to address safety, waste management, non-proliferation, and security concerns.
  11. 11. 11 Key Elements of Administration Strategy
  12. 12. 12 Congressional Activity  Senators Wyden, Murkowski, Feinstein, and Alexander introduced comprehensive nuclear waste legislation – Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 (S. 1240)  Establishes a siting process for storage and repository facilities that relies on consent agreements and Congressional ratification  Establishes a new organization – Nuclear Waste Administration – run by a single Administrator and overseen by an Oversight Board  Addresses funding reform by creating a new Working Capital Fund in which fees are deposited and are available as needed  Path to passage is difficult to predict  Court cases still pending  Some factions in Congress ready to “move on” from Yucca Mountain, while others not
  13. 13. 13 Analysis of Fukushima Event Using MELCOR  Objectives of Study  Collect, verify, and document data on the accidents  Reconstruct the accidents and their progression using MELCOR  Validate the models and analyses  Participants were Sandia National Laboratories, Idaho National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory  Sponsors were DOE and NRC  Collaborators  Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)  Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)  Institute of Nuclear Power Operators (INPO)  Preliminary results encouraging in terms of capturing essential accident signatures/trends
  14. 14. 14 Fukushima Dai-ichi Next Steps  OECD/NEA Fukushima Benchmarking Project  Recently initiated a Fukushima Dai-ichi analysis and benchmarking project that DOE and NRC support  Results of this effort could guide defueling of Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant  NEA effort expected to last about a year and is expected to:  Improve understanding of accident progression;  Enable comparison and improvement of various models and their methodology; and  Assist in decommissioning planning by evaluating current internal status, including distribution of fuel debris.  As part of Phase 2, DOE will work with Japan and international community to develop plan for such data collection during defueling  DOE R&D Program  DOE is committed to apply lessons learned from Fukushima to develop even safer nuclear plants  R&D to make reactors more accident tolerant initiated: – Fuel, Instrumentation and Controls, Batteries
  15. 15. 15 High temperature during loss of active cooling Slower Hydrogen Generation Rate • Hydrogen bubble • Hydrogen explosion • Hydrogen embrittlement of the clad Improved Cladding Properties • Clad fracture • Geometric stability • Thermal shock resistance • Melting of the cladding Improved Fuel Properties • Lower operating temperatures • Clad internal oxidation • Fuel relocation / dispersion • Fuel melting Enhanced Retention of Fission Products • Gaseous fission products • Solid/liquid fission products Improved Reaction Kinetics with Steam • Heat of oxidation • Oxidation rate Behaviors of Accident Tolerant Fuels & Fuel and Cladding at High Temperatures
  16. 16. 16 Materials With Slower Oxidation Kinetics Offer Larger Margins of Safety • Materials with slower oxidation kinetics in steam (~ 2 orders of magnitude or less) delay rapid cladding degradation Fuel exposed after 24hrs of cooling Relative to Zr oxidation kinetics *Slide provided by Oak Ridge National Lab*
  17. 17. 17 Nuclear Energy University Programs  The Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) and the Integrated University Program (IUP) have a well established competitive process for awarding R&D, infrastructure and scholarships/fellowships.  The Office of Science and Technology Innovation will continue implementing this competitive process and will expand to incorporate it into all competitive research. Since FY09, NEUP has awarded $238M to 83 schools in 34 States and the District of Columbia.  The NE R&D Programs are the cognizant technical managers of these competitive R&D awards and therefore play in integral role in the success of each project.  Universities and Industry are strongly encouraged to actively engage and collaborate with the associated NE R&D programs. 10 UA ASU U of A UC, Irvine CSULB UCLA UCSB UC, Berkeley UC, Davis CU CSM CSU GW UFL GIT ISU BSU U of I MC U of I IIT NU Purdue ND KSU UK BU UML UMD JHU UMN U-M MST MU MSU ASU NCSU UNC-CH UNM UNLV UNR AU CCNY Hunter College RPI SU SUNY, Stony Brook MIT CSU CWRU OSU WU UC OSU PSU Pitt Drexel URI CU FMU SCSU MTC USC UTK UT, Austin Texas A&M UH UT, Dallas UT, Arlington USU UU VT VCU UW WSU CBC LTC UW-Madison SDSU Rochester Dartmouth UTPB VU
  18. 18. 18 Integrated Research Projects  2013: Simulation of Neutron Damage for High Dose Exposure of Advanced Reactor Materials Award Announcement Pending (September 2013) Previous IRP Awards:  2012: Inherently Safe Reactors Georgia Institute of Technology – Integral Inherently Safe Light Water Reactor - (Italy, UK)  2012: Accident Tolerant Fuels Univ. of Tennessee – Advanced Accident-Tolerant Ceramic Coatings for Zr-Alloy Cladding (Australia, UK)  2012: Accident Tolerant Fuels Univ. of Illinois, Urbana Champaign – Engineered Zircaloy Cladding Modifications for Improved Accident Tolerance of LWR Nuclear Fuel - (UK)  2011: Accelerated Aging of Used Nuclear Fuel in Storage Texas A&M University Fuel Aging in Storage and Transportation: Accelerated Characterization and Performance Assessment of the Used Nuclear Fuel Storage System  2011: Advanced Thermal Reactor Concepts Massachusetts Institute of Technology High-Temperature Salt-Cooled Reactor for Power and Process Heat
  19. 19. 19 Sanmen – June 2013 Source: SNPTC Vogtle – August 2013 Source: Georgia Power Co. Summer – June 2013 Source: SCE&G Global Demand for Nuclear Energy Continues Haiyang – June 2013 Source: State Nuclear Power Engineering Feng Qingyi Wang Jinjie.
  20. 20. 20 Global Energy Distribution as indicated by nighttime electricity use