The following LWRS Program research and development pathways address Objective 1 (develop technologies and other solutions that can improve the reliability, sustain the safety, and extend the life of the current reactors) of the 2010 Nuclear Energy Roadmap:
Materials Aging and Degradation. Research and development to develop the scientific basis for understanding and predicting long-term environmental degradation behavior of materials in nuclear power plants. This work will provide data and methods to assess the performance of systems, structures, and components essential to safe and sustained nuclear power plant operations. The R&D products will be used to define operational limits and aging mitigation approaches for materials in nuclear power plant systems, structures, and components subject to long-term operating conditions, providing key input to both regulators and industry.
Risk-Informed Safety Margin Characterization. Research and development to develop and deploy approaches to support the management of uncertainty in safety margins quantification to improve decision-making for nuclear power plants. This pathway will (1) develop and demonstrate a risk-assessment method tied to safety margins quantification and (2) create advanced tools for safety assessment that enable more accurate representation of nuclear power plant safety margins and their associated impacts on operations and economics. The R&D products will be used to produce state-of-the-art nuclear power plant safety analysis information that yields new insights on actual plant safety margins and permits cost effective management of these margins during periods of extended operation.
Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control Systems Technologies. Research and development to address long-term aging and modernization of current instrumentation and control technologies through development and testing of new instrumentation and control technologies and advanced condition monitoring technologies for more automated and reliable plant operation. The R&D products will be used to design and deploy new instrumentation, information, and control technologies and systems in existing nuclear power plants that provide an enhanced understanding of plant operating conditions, available margins, improved response strategies, and capabilities for operational events.
Reactor Safety Technologies. Research and development to improve understanding of beyond design basis events and reduce uncertainty in severe accident progression, phenomenology, and outcomes using existing analytical codes and information gleaned from severe accidents, in particular the Fukushima Daiichi events. This information will be used to aid in developing mitigating strategies and improving severe accident management guidelines for the current light water reactor fleet.