Date & Venue: Wednesday October 5 at 13:30-15:20, Room Halton, Delta Hotel, Toronto, Canada.
Objectives: The objective of this session is to overview the main SFR concepts under development by national laboratories and the private sector, highlighting the recent progress being made towards commercialization. At the end of the session, several areas of cooperation between GIF and private sector will be identified.
- Frederic Serre (CEA, France)
- Bo Feng, (ANL, US)
- Irfan Ali (ARC Clean Technology, Canada)
- Patrick Everett (Oklo, US)
- Robert Petroski (TerraPower, US)
Each speaker made a short presentation about the progress of their SFR concepts highlighting some areas of collaboration with GIF. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Frederic Serre and Bo Feng.
Key messages of the presentations
Opening remarks: GIF SFR is making good progress towards industrialization in areas such as advanced fuel, components and balance of plant and safety and operation. The participants asked about the existence of an open database of SFR research facilities as the one presented for KAERI in the Republic of Korea.
ARC Clean Technologies: Ensuring global regulatory coordination is key to accelerate the deployment of advanced nuclear, in particular SFRs. Other areas where GIF support to the industry may be useful include fuel fabrication and HALEU supply, modelling, energy conversion systems and closure of the fuel cycle
OKLO: The lack of high quality legacy data is making code validation more difficult. GIF could increase efforts for international sharing of legacy data. New experimental facilities should also be designed with robust data generation and management approaches so this data remains available over time. Difficulties to secure HALEU supply was also noted.
Terrapower: Collaboration between GIF and industry could take place in areas such as design guidelines and approaches, experimental data sharing and analytical methods.
Outcomes of the panel discussion
Considerations on conversion systems: vendors are relying in proving solutions such as Rankine cycle in their SFR designs. Coupling steam cycle with salt thermal storage is also being explore in some designs. Private research is being conducted in intermediate heat exchangers and Brayton cycle.
Fuel qualification strategy: Vendors are leveraging past data and using infrastructure such as the ATR (US) and BOR-60 (Russia). Fuel concepts do not explore “areas” were data is not available.
The value of research infrastructure: New facilities such VTR in the US would have improved deployment timing for technologies like SFR.
Closing the fuel cycle in the US: Participants agreed that the US may have economic incentives to close the fuel cycle however this remains a regulatory and political issue.
Conclusion: Areas where GIF and the Industry could collaborate more easily include simulation and benchmarks, application of the SFR Safety Design Criteria and Safety Design Guideline to the Industry designs, instrumentation and energy conversion systems. HALEU remains a national and political topic that cannot be addressed by GIF collaborative framework. Collaboration in the use of existing research infrastructure could take place via bilateral discussions between countries and private companies.
Regarding the mechanisms to be used for the collaboration with the Industry, GIF Project Arrangements, Task Forces might be used, or signing a MOU.
Actions and next steps
- Analyze industry requests and identify areas where these request could fit in the existing work carried out by the SFR SSC and associated PMBs.
- Explore potential mechanisms to exchange information with the industry depending on the project.
- Elaborate a path forward to foster engagement with the industry.