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DOE grants to fund SMR simulators

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded three grants to support installation of a NuScale reactor plant simulator at the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, and Texas A&M University-College Station.

The facilities will be used for research, K-12 outreach education, and public advocacy regarding nuclear power and small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

The simulators are based on NuScale’s simulator technology and computer models. Once complete, they will include a simulator interface that accepts input from operators in a virtual control room. It will display parameters simulating plant response.

NuScale said the simulator will facilitate research into human engineering, interface design, advanced diagnostics, cyber security and plant control room automation. The simulators may also be used to show students and the public advanced nuclear technology in a control-room setting.

“The installation of these three simulators will provide remarkable opportunities for students, researchers and operators to better understand SMR technology,” said NuScale Innovation Manager Derick Botha, who developed the project proposal on behalf of the company in collaboration with the university leads. “We are thrilled that DOE has given this endeavor such a strong endorsement.” After, deployment at each university, NuScale will provide technical support and further model development to support research.

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