Design options for ultra-compact nuclear driven power sources for field applications
Additional Document Info
There is a demand for transportable power generation systems which are capable to provide electricity and heating to remote, potentially austere regions, for industrial, scientific, and military purposes. One of the prominent advantages of SMRs is their potential to provide reliable power to remote locations where there may be little or no supporting infrastructure. Deployment of SMRs to remote, land-based locations will require both logistical and technical developments. If a SMR is to be made truly ground-Transportable for deployments to temporary austere environments, it should be able to fit on a truck, or a convoy of trucks, or travel by rail, and be operable without continuous logistical support. It should rely on the surrounding environmental resources, or be fully self-contained. In the presented effort, design options for such configurations are explored. The objective is to develop a system that would be modular in its architecture and scalability while retaining compact module design with options for autonomous operation, discharge capability of its waste heat into the environment without local water sources or no environmental discharge, and with low logistical overhead. These requirements lead to the need for reactor designs that are cooled either directly and solely by air, or indirectly by heat exchange with a reliable closedloop. The proposed system to meet the postulated design constraints is a compact air-cooled power unit. The paper discusses reactor physics, heat removal, and energy conversion options of such an integrated system and its scalability. Nuclear security of the compact power system is addressed as well in an integrated manner combining performance, safety, security and safeguards.