4th International Technical Meeting on Small Reactors - 2016 Nov. 02-04

Presented at:
4th International Technical Meeting on Small Reactors
2016 Nov. 02-04
Ottawa, ON Canada
Session Title:
Parallel Session A:2 - Advanced SMRs & New Technologies

D. Dabney (StarCore Nuclear)
D. Poole (StarCore Nuclear)
M. Yates (StarCore Nuclear)


Abstract StarCore Nuclear SMR Authors: David Dabney, David Poole, and Michael Yates, StarCore Nuclear SMR Background The time is right for small modular nuclear reactors. Policy-makers, the environmental community, and electricity providers are agreeing that nuclear power belongs in the mix to meet future objectives. They are seeing that SMRs avoid many of the issues of large, conventional nuclear plants while offering some unique advantages. SMRs are still carbon free, but the fuel is different and safe. They can be delivered on time. They cost much less in absolute terms. And, they more closely match the needs of an evolving energy market. Remote extractive industries are burning polluting, expensive, fossil fuels. Billions of people lack access to any electricity at all, or burn those same fuels, and do not have potable water. Utilities and power grids are trying to slash coal use and incorporate renewables, and need smaller, distributed, flexible power generation. StarCore Design StarCore has the potential to be the leader in meeting these needs. Our design is flexible, both in its size and in its ability to meet fluctuations in customer demand. Unlike other emerging SMR manufacturers you will find our plan to be comprehensive and address all the specific requirements – both technical and financial – needed to be successful. We can serve customers independently or in conjunction with other power sources such as renewables. And we offer usable thermal energy to provide steam, potable water, and meet other customer needs. The StarCore High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (HTGR) plant is based on the TRISO fuel originally developed in the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany in the 1960’s, and then used in a wide variety of plants in many countries. These plants have been based on graphite-moderated fuel microsphere designs developed to meet various operational requirements. The TRISO fuel has received a lot of recent attention in the US Department of Energy Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) program, the HTGR plant initiative in South Africa; the reactor program at Tsinghua University (INET) in China; the reactor program at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), and others. There is significant operating experience with HTGR power and research reactors. This includes: • UK - Dragon • United States – Peach Bottom 1 and Fort St. Vrain • Germany – THTR and AVR • Japan – HTTR • China – HTR-10 These activities have resulted in improved TRISO fuel specifications and performance, and it is now generally regarded that TRISO is a fuel suitable for an HTGR that will be deployed to remote sites. The design has a very steep negative temperature coefficient that causes an automatic reduction in reactivity as temperature increases, which drives the plant into a low power state if there is a loss of coolant flow. In this regard the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has defined the HTGR as “an inherently safe nuclear reactor concept with an easily understood safety basis that permits substantially reduced emergency planning requirements and improved siting flexibility compared to other nuclear technologies”. StarCore has been developing the reactor and plant systems over the last several years and has selected the TRISO fuel and the prismatic graphite reactor core design used at Fort St. Vrain. The fuel, core design and other features use the same technology as developed in previous reactors and selected by the NGNP program over other Generation IV concepts, such as the liquid metal and molten salt cooled reactors. The US Department of Energy has spent more than $500 million in the NGNP program on studies, conceptual design and qualification. This program continues as an R&D; program at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), who is currently completing qualification work on fuel, graphite and high temperature materials. StarCore expects that the qualifications for its design will be proven for these three critical elements by the completion of that program. The operating reactors in Japan and China have many similarities with the StarCore design and have provided valuable insights into the design and operation of the plant. Market There is a large market, and a long list of customers, for StarCore. We can provide these customers with significant cost savings while earning an attractive return on our investment. Our Build-Own-Operate model will reduce the customers’ risk, the need to invest in power generation, and the need to be involved in fuel logistics and operations. Our secure remote monitoring and shutdown system allows us to go where others cannot, with enhanced safety. We can supply the under-served, and the un-served, at an affordable cost. And we can do it carbon-free. Our offering is compelling, and the market is huge. StarCore Team and Status StarCore has assembled suppliers and has affiliations with critical companies and agencies that are leaders in reactor design and construction; we have supportive potential customers, and access to all necessary fuel suppliers and power engineering technologies. We have been working closely with CNSC for years, a regulator who has been proactive in getting ready for SMRs and we are highly confident we can meet their high safety standards. StarCore will submit an application for a Vendor Design Review to CNSC in the near future. We have identified initial sites that are ready for our first units, and we have a management team that is prepared and knows what it wants and needs to do to make this happen. We are StarCore, and we are ready to change the future.

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