MCEER partners with industry to study seismic protection of nuclear power plant structures

photo of MCEER lab

By Peter Murphy

Published November 13, 2017

“MCEER’s purpose is the development of new knowledge and tools to increase the disaster resiliency of infrastructure and communities in the face of earthquakes and other extreme events. This collaboration with industry partners will enable MCEER to work towards this goal, with a focus on the energy sector.”
Joseph Atkinson, Professor and Chair
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

UB’s MCEER, as part of a consortium with other research associations and companies, received a significant grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for a project entitled Seismic Isolation of Major Advanced Reactor Systems for Economic Improvement and Safety Assurance.

The grant will support work on the isolation of large components and systems in advanced nuclear reactors, with the goal of further increasing safety and reducing capital cost.

DOE is funding the project through its Office of Technology Transition’s Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). According to a DOE press release, “TCF will support 54 projects across 12 National Laboratories involving more than 30 private-sector partners.” The industry partners working with MCEER are Southern Company Services, Inc., an energy company based out of Alabama; TerraPower, an innovative energy technology developer in Washington; and X-energy, a nuclear reactor and fuel design engineering company out of Maryland. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is the DOE lead on the project.

“MCEER’s purpose is the development of new knowledge and tools to increase the disaster resiliency of infrastructure and communities in the face of earthquakes and other extreme events,” said professor Joseph Atkinson, Chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. “This collaboration with industry partners will enable MCEER to work towards this goal, with a focus on the energy sector.”

Learn more about the grant here.