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Design Readiness And Maturity Assessment (DRAMA) Tool for Advanced Reactors...

by Steven A Arndt
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of ICAPP 2021
Publication Date
Conference Name
2021 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP)
Conference Location
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
American Nuclear Society
Conference Date

Abstract – This research is developing a formal, repeatable method to assess the readiness and maturity of an advanced nuclear reactor design for licensing and deployment. This design readiness and maturity assessment (DRAMA) tool will be capable of determining the readiness of the design and of all parties needed to bring a particular advanced reactor design to fruition. Beneficiaries and stakeholders include the design team, research organizations (required to collect needed data and develop design tools), standards organizations, research facilities to support gathering of needed data, supply chain and construction organizations, and everyone responsible for legal and regulatory infrastructure (including defining import-export requirements). Recent experience has shown that even the most experienced engineering and construction organizations, with decades of experience in the nuclear power business, have had significant challenges in bringing designs to completion, licensing the designs, and constructing new plants. For new entries into the field, simply understanding the unique environmental and regulatory requirements have been daunting. A significant part of the challenge is that new entries into the market do not know what they don't know. This tool will provide design teams a better understanding of their readiness to proceed to licensing (and other steps in the process), while at the same time providing a valuable metric for other interested organizations, such as funding agencies, national regulators, and international markets. The DRAMA tool will provide an assessment of the likelihood of successfully completing licensing and deployment and will also create the capability to assess the ability of regulatory infrastructure and the supply chain to support the deployment of any design or class of designs. It will also help prioritize research and policy efforts to improve the likelihood of deployment of the next generation of advanced reactors.