The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) received a USD 3.4M award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to continue collaborative research, testing new manufacturing and fabrication technologies for the production of small modular reactor (SMR) vessels. This funding allows EPRI to begin phase two of the project which has a total value of >USD 11M.
The Advanced Nuclear Technology SMR Manufacturing Project aims to reduce costs and accelerate deployment of SMRs for power production in the United States, ensuring the next generation of plants will be competitive in the global market. This project replaces several older processes with new manufacturing and fabrication methods that could produce cost-savings of 40% and expedite the process to less than one year.
The new technologies tested include electron beam welding (EBW), powder metallurgy-hot isostatic pressing (PM-HIP), diode laser cladding, bulk additive manufacturing, and advanced machining to produce SMRs.
The first phase of this project took place over three years, successfully deploying the new technologies and manufacturing methods to produce the lower assembly of a 2/3rd-scale NuScale Power reactor. The second phase of the project has a two-year timeline and focuses specifically on the critical upper reactor assembly of the SMR vessel.