Manufacturing cost analysis of an advanced nuclear energy system based on high-temperature reactor technology.
Grant Program (CFDA)
Place of Performance
Arlington, Virginia 22203-2141 United States
Single Zip Code
Strategic Analysis was awarded Project Grant DESC0023991 worth $199,939 from the Office of Science in July 2023 with work to be completed primarily in Arlington Virginia United States. The grant has a duration of 1 year and was awarded through assistance program 81.049 Office of Science Financial Assistance Program. The Project Grant was awarded through grant opportunity FY 2023 Phase I Release 2.
SBIR Phase I
Topic C56-40T: Manufacturing Cost Analysis of An Advanced Nuclear Energy System Based on High-Temperature Reactor Technology
Strategic Analysis, Inc. (SA) proposes to conduct manufacturing cost analysis of advanced nuclear energy systems with a focus on the Topic T sub-option for “Reactor and Auxiliary Component Costs”. Nuclear energy is a very promising solution for providing carbon-free electricity and heat due to its high energy density and efficiency, relatively constant, stable, and reliable supply, inherent safety, and low environmental impact. However, the cost competitiveness and time availability of this technology compared to other carbon-free energy sources is significantly lacking due to high costs and long times for facility construction. To reduce the costs and readiness of electricity and heat supplied by nuclear energy, new and alternative strategies are required for the design and construction of these systems. The use of small modular reactors (SMRs) provides such an opportunity as higher rates and better controlled production of these reactors and their associated components can be achieved in offsite manufacturing facilities. But in order to ensure the economic feasibility of this technological approach, estimation and analysis of the associated costs and cost limitations must be performed. Consequently, our proposed project focusses on evaluating factory-built small-module high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) subsystem components (e.g., reactor, intermediate heat exchanger, gas circulators, etc.) but excludes the purely onsite installation and fabrication cost elements (e.g., buildings, cement pouring, other site preparation, etc.). Our reference design configuration will be based on the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) to leverage past design work and to allow a focus on cost estimation. We propose to apply a Design for Manufacture and Assembly® (DFMA®) cost estimation methodology to estimate costs of these factory-built reactor subsystem components. Cost models developed using this approach will be flexible and easy to use so that sensitivity analysis and multiple reactor configurations can be examined. The deliverable for Phase 1 will be a written report detailing cost results and assumptions of our analysis. The deliverable for Phase 2 will be a report detailing the full cost estimation methodology, enhanced cost studies, consideration of alternate configurations, and a range of sensitivity studies. Our commercialization plan is to develop a flexible computer-based cost model and user interface software that can be used by SA to rapidly assess potential configurations, identify cost drivers, and conduct tradeoff studies to optimize the plant design for low cost. Through these activities, commercialization of inherently safe, advanced Generation IV reactors may be accelerated, thereby reducing greenhouse gases from the energy sector and enhancing US energy independence.
Last Modified 8/28/23
Period of Performance
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding
Award ID FAIN
Award ID URI
892430 SC CHICAGO SERVICE CENTER
|Science, Energy Programs, Energy (089-0222)
|General science and basic research
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