Associate Prof. Tomasz Kozlowski of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering is playing a role in an Exelon Corp.-led project to model and improve the efficiency of boiling water nuclear reactors.
The U.S. Department of Energy is providing $5 million in funding for the recently announced project, while industrial funding will amount to another $1.7 million. The multi-institutional effort involves scientists from Exelon and Global Nuclear Fuel Corp., Oak Ridge and Idaho national laboratories, and Pennsylvania State University, North Carolina State University, University of Michigan and Kozlowski from Illinois.
The objective of the two-year project is to gain a deeper understanding of BWR two-phase flow and reactor physics behavior. Collaborators hope to improve reactivity and thermal margins predictions for the current BWR fleet, with the goal of producing a direct positive economic impact on fuel cycle energy production and costs. The project will further develop the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA) platform, currently limited to pressurized water reactors, to include BWR modeling and simulation capabilities.
Improving the economics of nuclear power could bolster and reassert its status as a leading energy generator in the United States, Kozlowski said.
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