Additive Talks: How has AM advanced in the nuclear industry? Opportunities & Challenges

The nuclear topic is trending and raises a lot of debates across industries and governments. 

As explained in this introductory article, many operating reactors are facing retirement, high initial capital investment limits the utilities to build new large reactors generating electricity via the steam cycle. To maintain the nuclear share in the energy portfolio, there are strong interests in smaller, simpler, and more efficient nuclear power units for generating electricity and processing heat. A number of advanced reactor concepts, including small modular reactors (SMR) and GEN IV advanced reactors (e.g., sodium metal fast reactor, molten salt reactor, gas-cooled reactor), are under consideration. 

To support the deployment of these advanced reactor designs, the nuclear industry is looking for new ways to manufacture nuclear components for plant construction, reactor internals, fuel claddings and assemblies, sensors, and instruments and to reduce the overall cost and deployment time. 

The one-million dollar question we have therefore discussed here is the role AM can play in this divergence of opinions. 

The conversation below discusses: 

  • The role of AM in this energy transition; 
  • The requirements of the specific nuclear environment, and the drivers that support the use of AM in such environment; 
  • The manufacturing constraints that parts producers may face; as well as 
  • The regulatory bodies that can support codification and industrialization of AM. 

The virtual table gathered Dr. Benjamin R. Betzler, a senior R&D staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and group leader of the Research and Test Reactor Physics Group and Yevgeni Brif,  Program Manager at Burloak Technologies, an additive manufacturing company which is part of the Samuel Group.

The conversation is moderated by 3D ADEPT Media’s Managing Editor, Kety SINDZE and Iwan Grech as special guest and co-host.


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