Swapnil Arun Namekar, Aman Singh
This Review paper states that the concept of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear power can solve the energy trilemma of supplying baseload, clean and affordable power. However, a review of nuclear power plant (NPP) builds show mixed results, with delays in Finland and the US offset by successes in China, South Korea and the UAE. In the West, financing for new builds has been difficult in the face of a deregulated energy market, billion-dollar upfront investments, long build times and in the case of the US historically low gas prices. We explore how the nuclear industry is innovating in facing these challenges through a review of nuclear power developments in the past, present and future. Early developments in nuclear power in the 1950s resulted in a variety of designs, out of which the pressurized water reactor (PWR) became dominant for its compactness and overall economy. Over the next 10 years, several PWR-based small modular reactor (SMR) designs are expected to come online within an eight-year timeframe. Their modular construction and fabrication in a controlled factory setting aims to shorten build times from 8 to 3 years. However, the lack of established regulatory approval pathways may be a time-limiting challenge that needs to be overcome by the first fleet of SMRs. The passive safety and a smaller fuel loading of SMRs will allow them to be deployed at more potential sites, including brownfield replacements of old coal-fired power plants or power unconventional, remote or islanded grids. Some SMRs are also designed to load follow which will allow them to work harmoniously with intermittent renewables sources with the promise of an affordable, truly carbon-neutral grid. In the longer term, advanced nuclear reactors in the form of sodium-cooled, molten salt cooled, and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors hold the promise of providing efficient electricity production, industrial heat for heavy industry as well as the generation of hydrogen for synthetic fuel.
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 149452

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 6, Issue 12

Page(s): 377 - 380
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