Finnish utility Fortum and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on 1 October embarked on a three-year collaborative project to create an open source tool for technical-economic modelling of small modular reactor (SMR) development projects.
The project aims to improve the understanding of small reactor projects and the properties of small reactors through modelling work and sensitivity analysis of the results.
Current types of small reactors contain many new and interesting innovations related to, for example, construction and manufacturing technologies and the location of plants. A better understanding of these new features and determining where to focus on them is critical to ensure the feasibility and success of these projects, Fortum said.
“We are excited to start this SMR partnership with MIT. MIT has done extensive work to identify the cost drivers of new nuclear power, for example. This project provides an excellent opportunity for Fortum's nuclear experts and MIT researchers to learn from each other,” said Fortum Project Manager Konsta Värri. “We hope that the implementation of the modelling tool as an open source solution will promote the development of the nuclear power industry and take it one step closer to the realisation of small reactors,” Värri added.
“In the case of small reactors, it is possible to reduce the risk of cost overruns by taking advantage of their small size and relatively simple structure. However, risk reduction alone is not enough. Reactors must be cost-competitive to meet market demands. Our goal is to get to know this risk-cost relationship in our multidisciplinary team,” said MIT chief researcher Koroush Shirvan.
At MIT, the project is being implemented in collaboration with researchers from the Departments of Nuclear Energy and Engineering and Construction and Environmental Engineering.
Photo: Fortum and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have embarked on a three-year collaborative project to create an open source tool for technical-economic modelling of small modular reactor (SMR) projects (Credit: Fortum)