Maintenance of Advanced Reactor Sensors and Components (MARS)

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Lemont, Illinois
Project Term:
09/28/2020 - 03/27/2025

Technology Description:

Advanced reactor (AR) power plants can minimize O&M costs by integrating advanced instrumentation and control systems into designs. Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) aims to reduce the O&M cost of the Kairos Power fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactor by (1) developing advanced distributed sensing and data generation techniques to characterize critical components and systems; (2) increasing sensor diversity and functionality to measure several process variables simultaneously; and (3) automating maintenance tasks through machine learning-enabled fault detection and diagnostics and intelligent sensor placement. Accomplishing these objectives will reduce the number of required AR staff as well as repair and replacement costs. Research facilities will include ANL and University of Wisconsin liquid sodium and molten salt facilities. Proposed methods are expected to achieve $2/MWh O&M cost.

Potential Impact:

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:


Establishing U.S. advanced reactor technological leadership and improving U.S. energy security with safe, reliable, dispatchable power for a robust and resilient electric power system;


Reducing energy-related emissions with a competitive, carbon-free electricity source; and


Increasing productivity and creating a competitive edge for advanced reactors.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jenifer Shafer
Project Contact:
Dr. Alexander Heifetz
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Wisconsin

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