NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Shirvan, Fortum collaborate on techno-economic modelling tool

Koroush Shirvan, MIT

Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) Koroush Shirvan will lead a collaborative 3-year project with Fortum to create an open source tool for techno-economic modelling of small modular reactor (SMR) projects. The goal is to generate greater understanding of SMR projects and characteristics through the modelling work and the sensitivity analysis of the results.

Current SMR designs in the industry feature many new and exciting innovations in the areas of manufacturing, siting and construction. Gaining a more in-depth understanding of these new features and determining which ones are the most important to focus on will be critical in ensuring the feasibility and success of these projects.

“We are excited to start this SMR cooperation project with MIT. They have done extensive work in, for example, identifying the cost drivers of new nuclear. This is a great opportunity for our nuclear experts at Fortum and the researchers at MIT to learn from one another,” says Konsta Värri, Project Manager at Fortum.

“We hope that making the modelling tool open source will drive the nuclear sector forward and a step closer to making SMR's a reality,” Värri continues.

“SMR's have the potential to reduce the risk to cost overruns by leveraging their smaller and simpler designs. However, reducing risk alone is not enough and they must still provide competitive cost to meet market demands. We hope to explore this relationship between risk and cost within our multidisciplinary team,” says Koroush Shirvan, the principal investigator from MIT. The MIT team includes Professor Jacopo Buongiorno from NSE and Dr. Jeremy Gregory from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Photo by Lillie Paquette/MIT School of Engineering

October 2020