New Reactors

Energy Research, Inc. is leading the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's support program for the licensing activities for various reactor types, including:

  • Advanced Boiling Water Reactor

    Energy Research, Inc. is the prime contractor responsible for regulatory assessment of the two unit Advance Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) plant that is to be constructed at the South Texas site by Toshiba Corporation. This contract is a multi-million dollar project that was originally awarded to Energy Research, Inc. during September 2007. A follow-on contract to continue support was awarded in September 2012, and is expected to continue for several years. In addition, during 2014 Energy Research, Inc. was awarded to additional multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts by the NRC to provide support in all aspects of nuclear reactor safety and regulations including new reactors (e.g., APR1400, Small Modular Reactors). The specific areas of support to NRC include:

    • Core thermal-hydraulics design
    • Evaluation of the plant technical specifications
    • Probabilistic risk assessment and severe accidents
    • Fast transient and Anticipated Transient Without Scram (ATWS) methodology
    • Transient and accident analysis methodology
    • Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) analysis methods
    • Containment response analysis
    • Core system simulator
    • Plant electrical systems
    • Impact of external hazards (e.g., explosions)
    • Evaluation of wind and tornado loads, flood design, missile protection, containment ultimate capacity and seismic margin analyses
    • Evaluation of seismic design and design of Category I structures
  • Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor

    Energy Research, Inc. is the prime contractor responsible for work related to design certification, combined operating license, and environmental assessment of the General Electric-Hitachi (GEH) Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). This contract is a multi-million dollar project that was originally awarded to Energy Research, Inc. during September 2007. A follow-on contract to continue support was awarded in September 2012, and is expected to continue for several years.

    The specific areas of support for the Office of New Reactors and Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research include technical evaluation and analyses related to:

    • Containment response analysis
    • Balance of plant systems
    • Plant electrical systems
    • Ex-vessel debris coolability
    • Waste and health physics
    • Environmental Impact Report (Fermi)
    • Technical evaluation of the Probabilistic Risk Analysis (PRA) and Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives (SAMDAs)
    • Development of models and simulation of severe accidents and containment response
    • Analysis of loads due to ex-vessel fuel coolant interaction energetics (i.e., steam explosions)
    • Analysis of High Pressure Melt Ejection (HPME) -induced Direct Containment Heating (DCH)
    • Evaluation of specific issues related to geotechnical engineering aspects of Fermi
    • Assessment of issues related to PCCS hydrogen detonation
  • U.S. EPR

    Energy Research, Inc. has provided technical support to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research and Office of New Reactors as related to the following aspects of AREVA's U.S. EPR design certification activities:

    • Experimental assessment and qualification of the TRACE computer code
    • Development of models and analysis of severe accidents and containment response
    • Analysis of steam explosions
    • Analysis of hydrogen distribution (during design basis and severe accidents) inside containment
    • Technical evaluation of the probabilistic risk analysis and severe accident mitigation alternatives
  • U.S. Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (APWR)

    Energy Research, Inc. has provided technical support to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research and Office of New Reactors as related to the following aspects of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) U. S. Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (APWR) design certification activities:

    • Development of TRACE computer code models for application to transient and LOCA analysis
    • Analysis of severe accidents and containment response
    • Analysis of steam explosions
    • Analysis of hydrogen distribution (during severe accidents) inside containment
    • Technical evaluation of the probabilistic risk analysis and severe accident mitigation alternatives
  • AP600 and AP1000

    Energy Research, Inc. provided technical support to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research as related to the following aspects of the Westinghouse AP600 and AP1000 design certification activities:

    • Development of models and analysis of severe accidents and containment response
    • Independent PIRT development and scaling rationale for Westinghouse separate effects and integral experiments for application to design basis containment analysis.
    • Development of models for analysis of in-vessel melt retention and lower head integrity
    • Analysis of loads resulting from ex-vessel fuel coolant interaction energetics
  • APR1400

    Energy Research, Inc. is providing technical support to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research and Office of New Reactors as related to the following aspects of the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (KHNP) APR1400 design certification activities:

    • Development of models for simulation of design basis and beyond design basis accidents and containment response
    • Technical review of the Large Break LOCA Methodology Topical Report
    • Performance of confirmatory analyses for selected design basis and severe accident scenarios