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US Department of Energy awards two advanced reactor projects for BWRX-300 SMR

  • 4 months ago (2020-05-15)
  • David Flin
North America 840 Nuclear 478

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced awards to two teams to develop tools to transform the O&M of advanced nuclear reactors through the use of artificial intelligence-enabled digital twins using the GE Hitachi (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactor as a reference design.

GE Research and MIT have been awarded grants through the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) programme to lead the project teams that will develop digital twin technology for advanced nuclear reactors utilising artificial intelligence and advanced modelling controls.

The GE Research-led team consisting of Exelon Generation , Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the University of Tennessee-Knoxville , and GEH will build a digital twin of BWRX-300 critical components and utilise artificial intelligence to make risk-informed decisions. Exelon, which operates the largest US fleet of nuclear power reactors, will provide historical data based on significant experience to inform the model and targets which are aimed at reducing the O&M costs of advanced reactors.

The MIT-led team consisting of GE Research and GEH will advance and demonstrate new predictive maintenance approaches and model-based fault system detection techniques. The digital twins will address mechanical and thermal fatigue failure modes which drive O&M activities.

Abhinav Saxena, a Senior AI Scientist at GE Research and project leader on the AI-enabled predictive maintenance digital twins project, said GE has developed and deployed well over 1.2 million digital twins within an array of products and services that span the aviation, transport, and energy sectors, including in nuclear energy.