General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that it has been selected for the Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) program, one of three programs supported under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Reactor Demonstration (ARD) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).
GA-EMS will develop a conceptual design of a new 50-megawatt electric (MWe) Fast Modular Reactor (FMR) that provides safe, carbon free electricity, and has the capability of incremental capacity additions. The FMR will provide rapid load-following capabilities for seamless integration with renewables and other intermittent power sources, on and off the electric grid.
“This is an exciting effort for GA-EMS that leverages our history as a leading nuclear reactor and technology developer for more than half of a century,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Drawing on our extensive experience with our TRIGA® reactors and our gas-cooled reactor technology development efforts, we will focus on maturing the FMR technology and moving the U.S. closer to a clean energy future.”
The goal of the ARC-20 program is to assist the progression of advanced reactor designs in their earliest phases and bring the most promising designs to market sooner. Over the next three years, GA-EMS will develop the conceptual design of the reactor system, power conversion system, and instrumentation and control system. GA-EMS will also conduct cost analysis and pre-application licensing.
GA-EMS will be working in close collaboration with Framatome Inc., leveraging their extensive expertise in gas-cooled reactor technologies, and a team of industry, national labs, and academic leaders with expertise in all critical systems and subsystems to deliver a complete conceptual design and, subsequently, demonstrate the FMR design by 2030 with anticipated commercial use by the mid-2030s.
“GA-EMS is committed to the commercialization of FMRs, with a safe and affordable way to build and operate them in the near term,” said Dr. Christina Back, vice president of Nuclear Technologies and Materials at GA-EMS. “The FMR modular design will allow factory built components to be assembled on-site, keeping the cost of capital low, while the use of a helium instead of water coolant allows the reactor to be sited in nearly any location. It will use silicon carbide composite material, SiGA®, developed in the DOE’S Accident Tolerant Fuel program, to provide safe, clean energy throughout the U.S. for generations to come.”