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
The Oklo Aurora is a proposed advanced fission power reactor being developed by Oklo Inc., a California-based company. Here are some key characteristics of the Oklo Aurora reactor:
- Size and power output: The Oklo Aurora is a small modular reactor with a thermal capacity of 1.5 MW and an electrical output of 0.5 MW.
- Advanced reactor design: The Oklo Aurora uses a fast neutron spectrum and a metallic fuel design, which allows for higher fuel burnup and greater fuel efficiency compared to traditional light water reactors.
- Fuel technology: The Oklo Aurora uses a novel fuel design based on metallic uranium, which allows for greater fuel density and reduced fuel fabrication costs.
- Renewable energy integration: The Oklo Aurora is designed to integrate with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, allowing for more reliable and resilient electricity generation.
- Advanced safety features: The Oklo Aurora incorporates several advanced safety features, including passive cooling systems that can operate without external power or human intervention, and a containment system that can prevent the release of radioactive material in the event of an accident.
- Regulatory approval: In December 2019, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved Oklo’s application for a combined construction and operating license for the Aurora reactor, making it the first advanced fission power reactor to receive such approval from the NRC.
The Oklo Aurora reactor is still in the design and development phase, with plans to build a demonstration unit at the Idaho National Laboratory by the mid-2020s.