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Digital Twins for Nuclear Power Plants and Facilities

by David J Kropaczek, Vittorio Badalassi, Prashant K Jain, Pradeep Ramuhalli, William D Pointer
Publication Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
Page Numbers
971 to 1022
Publisher Name
Publisher Location
Cham, Switzerland

The nuclear digital twin (DT) is the virtual representation of a nuclear energy system across its lifecycle. The nuclear DT uses real-time information and other data sources to improve the process of design, licensing, construction, security, O&M, decommissioning, and waste disposal. By leveraging the knowledge base and experience from the past 40 years of LWR operation, the nuclear DT is helping to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced nuclear technology in areas of passive safety, new fuel forms, instrumentation, and reactor control. For the currently operating nuclear fleet, DTs are reducing the operational risks, increasing plant availability, increasing energy capability, and reducing electricity production costs. For advanced fission and fusion reactors, DTs are being used to design for passive safety and built-in security-by-design. Rapidly deployable small modular reactor (SMR) and microreactor designs compatible with modular construction techniques and advanced manufacturing will be the new normal, reducing the need for large capital expenditures and compressing construction schedules. In addition, lower operational and maintenance costs will be realized by reducing the complexity of operations, staffing needs, and maintenance-related activities.