Small Modular Reactors
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional reactors. The term “small” in the context of SMRs refers to design power output.
Small modular reactors have a power output of less than 300 MWe. The term “modular” in the context of SMRs refers to its scalability and to the ability to fabricate major components of the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) in a factory environment and then transported them to the site.
See also: www.nuclear-power.com
Energy Multiplier Module – General Atomics
The Energy Multiplier Module (EM2) is a proposed advanced nuclear reactor design being developed by US-based company General Atomics. The EM2 is a fast-neutron spectrum reactor that uses a novel fuel design called the Energy Multiplier Module Fuel (EM2 Fuel), which consists of a combination of uranium and high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.
The EM2 reactor uses helium gas as a coolant instead of water, which is the most common coolant used in traditional light-water reactors. Helium has several advantages as a coolant, including its high thermal conductivity, low neutron absorption, and its inertness, which reduces the risk of chemical reactions between the coolant and the reactor core. The use of helium gas as a coolant also allows for higher operating temperatures, which increases the thermal efficiency of the reactor. Overall, the use of helium gas as a coolant in the EM2 reactor design is expected to improve the safety, efficiency, and performance of the reactor.
The Energy Multiplier Module (EM2) is a proposed advanced nuclear reactor design developed by General Atomics. Some of the characteristics of the EM2 reactor are:
- Fuel: The EM2 reactor uses a novel fuel design called Energy Multiplier Module Fuel (EM2 Fuel), which is a combination of uranium and high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel. This fuel design allows for a range of fuel types to be used, including enriched and depleted uranium, as well as spent fuel from light-water reactors.
- Reactor type: The EM2 reactor is a fast-neutron spectrum reactor, which is different from the thermal neutron spectrum reactors commonly used today. The fast neutron spectrum enables the use of a broader range of fuels, including those that cannot be used in thermal neutron spectrum reactors.
- High efficiency: The EM2 reactor is designed to operate at a high thermal efficiency of around 53%, which is significantly higher than most current nuclear reactors. This high efficiency translates to more electricity produced per unit of fuel used.
- Safety features: The EM2 reactor includes several passive safety features, including a gravity-driven cooling system that does not require any external power to operate. The EM2 design also produces much less nuclear waste than traditional light-water reactors, and the spent fuel can be recycled and reused as fuel in the reactor.
- Scalable: The EM2 reactor has a modular design that allows for flexible and scalable deployment to meet energy demand. The reactor is designed to be built and operated in multiple units, which can be added or removed as needed.
- Future plans: General Atomics is currently developing and testing the EM2 fuel, and the company plans to work with partners to build and demonstrate a prototype EM2 reactor in the future. The EM2 reactor is expected to provide a reliable and cost-effective source of low-carbon energy to meet the growing demand for electricity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
General Atomics is currently in the process of developing and testing the EM2 fuel, and the company plans to work with partners to build and demonstrate a prototype EM2 reactor in the future. The EM2 reactor is expected to provide a reliable and cost-effective source of low-carbon energy to meet the growing demand for electricity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.