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Project Grant


Grant Description
Development of cable insulation materials for small modular reactors.
Place of Performance
Knoxville, Tennessee 37923-4505 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Analysis Notes
Amendment Since initial award the End Date has been extended from 03/26/23 to 08/27/24 and the total obligations have increased 552% from $199,351 to $1,299,009.
Analysis And Measurement Service Corporation was awarded Project Grant DESC0022926 worth $1,299,009 from the Office of Science in June 2022 with work to be completed primarily in Knoxville Tennessee United States. The grant has a duration of 2 years 2 months and was awarded through assistance program 81.049 Office of Science Financial Assistance Program. The Project Grant was awarded through grant opportunity FY 2022 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2.

SBIR Details

Research Type
SBIR Phase I
Development of Cable Insulation Materials for Small Modular Reactors
Small modular reactors will provide safe reliable clean electricity as well as enable hydrogen production, industrial heat generation, and water desalination. However, to realize the full benefits of these and other advanced reactors, their critical components that include electrical cables must be developed to survive the expected environmental conditions in these new plant designs during both normal operation and post-accident events. Currently, the performance of existing nuclear grade cables under these conditions is unknown, and it is expected they will not be suitable due to their material type or configuration for many applications in small modular reactors. Thus, the research and development proposed here must be conducted to ascertain the performance and resiliency of existing cable insulation materials for the various types of small modular reactor designs and identify ways to enhance the properties of these materials so they can be qualified for use in these new reactors. HOW THIS PROBLEM IS BEING ADDRESSED To support the timely demonstration and deployment of small modular reactor power generation facilities, a research and development effort is proposed to evaluate the performance of cable insulation materials under simulated conditions expected in these designs. The properties of the materials will be assessed through laboratory measurements to evaluate their characteristics and determine the feasibility of improving their performance using methods such as integrating chemical additives into the matrix of existing cable polymers. This work will enable the development of cable materials and evaluation tools needed for the new generation of reactors. The experimental data and information produced in this project will be shared with reactor developers and cable manufacturers in support of cable development, qualification, and testing ahead of reactor demonstrations and deployments. WHAT IS PLANNED FOR THE PHASE I PROJECT The research and development effort proposed herein will employ a hands-on approach to evaluate cable insulation materials for applications in small modular reactors. During this project, cable samples including several different high-temperature and high-radiation insulation materials will be acquired from operating plants, cable manufacturers, new reactor developers, and other sources. These samples will be subjected to simulated reactor conditions in the laboratory to evaluate their resiliency and identify characteristics and properties that must be enhanced to improve their performance. Chemical additives will be identified that will improve the properties of the materials (i.e., thermal and chemical stability, mechanical durability, etc.). These chemical additives will be integrated into the matrix of existing cable polymers using laboratory material processing techniques to produce small quantities of composites for testing. This work will be expanded during Phase II to include cable insulation material testing in high radiation environments and other adverse conditions such as steam exposure. The results of this work will be used in the support of cable insulation material development, qualification, and testing for the next generation of small modular reactors. COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS AND OTHER BENEFITS In the short-term, the commercialization of the project will be in terms of laboratory testing, qualification, and engineering services to new reactor developers and cable manufacturers. In the long-term, the technologies and expertise developed under this project will be leveraged to support field testing services including in-situ cable condition monitoring for small modular reactors. These technologies ultimately support the safe and efficient operations of the next generation of reactors.
Topic Code
Solicitation Number


Last Modified 10/3/23

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
78.0% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Interactive chart of timeline of amendments to DESC0022926

Transaction History

Modifications to DESC0022926

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
Small Business
Awarding Office
Funding Office
892401 SCIENCE
Awardee UEI
Awardee CAGE
Performance District
Marsha Blackburn
Bill Hagerty

Budget Funding

Federal Account Budget Subfunction Object Class Total Percentage
Science, Energy Programs, Energy (089-0222) General science and basic research Grants, subsidies, and contributions (41.0) $1,299,009 100%
Modified: 10/3/23