The US Department of Energy on 13 May announced $27 million in funding for nine projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) programme.
These projects will work to develop digital twin technology for a tenfold reduction in operations and maintenance (O&M) costs in the next generation of nuclear power plants to make them more economic, flexible, and efficient.
“As the United States’ largest provider of clean, emissions-free energy, nuclear power is an essential component of our Nation’s electricity supply,” said under secretary of energy Mark W. Menezes. “Investing in projects and R&D that will make our nuclear fleet more efficient and cost-effective is critical to ensuring this clean, reliable energy source continues to power our country for years to come.”
ARPA-E director Lane Genatowski said: “These GEMINA teams are working to develop tools for the advanced reactors of tomorrow to improve operations and lower maintenance costs by designing more autonomous, and efficient processes.”
GEMINA is focused on novel digital technologies to achieve significant and sustainable reductions in O&M costs. These advances will lay the groundwork for a future where advanced reactors operate with a staffing plan and fixed O&M costs more competitive with those of other generation sources.
Funding is going to the following projects:
- GE Research – Niskayuna, NY - AI-Enabled Predictive Maintenance Digital Twins for Advanced Nuclear Reactors - $5,412,810
- Electric Power Research Institute – Palo Alto, CA - Build-to-Replace: A New Paradigm for Reducing Advanced Reactor O&M Costs - $999,464
- X-energy, LLC – Rockville, MD - Advanced Operation & Maintenance Techniques Implemented in the Xe-100 Plant Digital Twin to Reduce Fixed O&M Cost - $6,000,000
- Argonne National Laboratory – Argonne, IL - Maintenance of Advanced Reactor Sensors and Components (MARS) - $2,200,000
- Framatome – Lynchburg, VA - Digital Twin-Based Asset Performance and Reliability Diagnosis for the HTGR Reactor Cavity Cooling System Using Metroscope - $809,701
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA - High-Fidelity Digital Twins for BWRX-300 Critical Systems - $ 1,787,065
- Moltex Energy USA, LLC – Wilmington, DE - SSR APPLIED - Automated Power Plants: Intelligent, Efficient, and Digitized - $3,500,000
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI - PROJECT "SAFARI”- Secure Automation For Advanced Reactor Innovation- $5,195,000
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA - Generation of Critical Irradiation Data to Enable Digital Twinning of Molten-Salt Reactors - $899,825