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AGI-ESIC Doubleheader Seminar: WSU/PNNL Nuclear Science and Technology Institute; Small Modular and Advanced Reactor Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D): Implications for Electrical Grid and Plant Scale Energy Systems


About the event

Advanced Grid Institute (AGI) and Energy Systems Innovation Center (ESIC) present the following doubleheader seminar:

WSU/PNNL Nuclear Science and Technology Institute presented by Dr. Jim Boncella, WSU/PNNL

Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have had long standing, yet informal, research collaborations in the general area of the nuclear sciences.  In order to build upon and further develop these interactions, the WSU/PNNL Nuclear science and Technology Institute (NSTI) was formally created as a joint venture between the two institutions in April of 2018.   In this talk I will present an overview of NSTI including the strategies that are being used to facilitate new research collaborations and new research collaborations workforce development.  While many of our initiatives center around the complementary nuclear facilities, the Dodgen Nuclear Science Center with its TRIGA reactor (WSU) and the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory (PNNL), the breadth of the general area of nuclear  science presents further opportunities as well as inherent challenges to collaborations.

Small Modular and Advanced Reactor Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D):  Implications for Electrical Grid and Plant Scale Energy Systems by Mr. Michael Hagood, Office of Research/WSU

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program announced in October 2020 two awards directing funding towards accelerating commercialization of innovative nuclear reactor technology.  These awards comprise supporting demonstration of the TerraPower/GE-Hitachi Natrium sodium fast reactor (345 MWe) and the X-Energy Xe-100 high temperature gas-cooled reactor (80 MWe), both to be operational within a seven-year time frame.   Both of these demonstrations are being considered for siting adjacent to Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station in Richland Washington, the only operating commercial nuclear reactor in the Northwest.   In a separate process launched in 2014, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems is planning to site a plant at Idaho National Laboratory Site, comprising twelve NuScale Power light water modular reactors (77 MWe per module), estimated to be operational by 2029.   Such reactor designs are advantageous for a number of reasons, including allowing for more flexible operation and integration into regional electricity systems as low-carbon base load and for load-following.  These reactors can also potentially be used in energy storage and industrial applications, including hydrogen production.  Washington State University and its regional partners host unique research and education assets that can be applied to advancing such innovative nuclear reactor technology, including addressing reactor grid integration and industrial applications at various scales, which align with current DOE hybrid energy systems research.  Engagement in such RD&D also aligns with Northwest regional trends in promoting low carbon electricity generation and transportation futures.



Darlene R Miller
(509) 335-2308