High-Fidelity Digital Twins for BWRX-300 Critical Systems
Project Innovation + Advantages:
The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation small modular reactor designed by GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to provide flexible energy generation that is cost-competitive with natural gas-fired plants. GE Research (GER) has 10+ years experience in developing probabilistic machine learning (ML) methods/tools integrated with their domain expertise in thermo-mechanical lifing/durability. GER has applied this industrially proven capability to build digital twins for military and commercial applications. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will assemble, validate, and exercise high-fidelity digital twins of the BWRX-300 systems. MIT’s work will advance and demonstrate predictive maintenance approaches and model-based fault system detection techniques by GEH and GER. The digital twins address mechanical and thermal fatigue failure modes that drive O&M activities well beyond selected BWRX-300 components and extend to all advanced reactors where a flowing fluid is present. The role of high-fidelity resolution is central to the approach, as it addresses the unique challenges of the nuclear industry.
The program goal is to reduce fixed O&M costs from ~13 $/MWh in the current fleet to ~2 $/MWh in the advanced fleet. Benefits include: