Benefits And Characteristics Of Small Modular Reactors

small modular reactors

SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) are nuclear fission reactors. Their size and versatility have many advantages. SMRs carry the prospect of commercial success in a wide range of global markets. For all applications, SMRs provide increased safety, security, and flexibility. The majority of government energy and environmental policies promote this clean energy choice. Below are some of the characteristics of SMRs and their subsequent benefits.

Features of Small Modular Reactors:

– Fuel Safety

SMRs can store fuel on-site, letting them operate for a decade or more without requiring an external fuel source. Plants can also stagger module refilling. This allows them to stay online and offer continuous electricity to the grid without interruptions.

– Modularity

SMRs have a modular architecture that reduces the number of electrical parts used. In addition, many of them employ passive cooling features like some high pressure reactors. These do not need the usage of any safety-related electric pumps or human intervention to shut down properly.

– Black Start 

SMRs may start from a completely de-energized condition without using grid energy. Recovering from an outage can assist an electricity grid in meeting system requirements for voltage and other properties.

– Underground Development

Chemical reactor manufacturers in India can build SMRs underground. This makes them less subject to inclement weather, earthquakes and electromagnetic pulse threats.

– Islanding

SMRs can run either connected to the grid or autonomously. They can power important buildings if connected to a micro-grid with islanding. These buildings are like hospitals, data centres, and military sites.

The Advantages of Small Modular Reactors

Modularity

The term “modular” in SMRs alludes to its scalability in manufacturing the main components of the NSSS in a manufacturing setting, before transporting them to the site. This can help limit on-site preparation as well as building time. This is critical because one of the major issues with larger units is the lengthy time taken in construction. Manufacturing the main components of the steam supply system in-factory can ease the implementation of higher quality requirements.

Improved Safety and Security

The following can increase safety and security over prior designs and large commercial reactors:

  • Lower reactor core thermal power
  • Compact architecture
  • Passive principles

Passive safety systems are a critical safety aspect in the SMR. As a result, there is less reliance on active safety devices, more pumps, and AC power to mitigate accidents. These passive safety systems can dissipate heat even with lost off-site power. 

The safety system includes an on-site water inventory powered by natural forces (e.g., natural circulation). Natural circulation is sought in reactor engineering. This is because it can provide reactor core cooling without using coolant pumps, ensuring no moving parts fail.

SMRs are very suitable for business functions. They need less personnel for location assembly, maintenance, and operation. Furthermore, remote areas frequently have changeable power generation requirements. Large conventional reactors are generally rigid in terms of power generation capability. SMRs, on the other hand, have better control, generating less electricity when demand is down.

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