Small Modular Reactor-based solutions to enhance grid reliability: impact of modularization of large power plants on frequency stability
CEA, IRESNE, DES, DER, 13108 Saint Paul lez Durance, France
2 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP (Institute of Engineering Univ. Grenoble Alpes), G2Elab, 38000 Grenoble, France
3 CEA, DRT, LITEN, DTS, 13108 Saint Paul lez Durance, France
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Received in final form: 16 June 2022
Accepted: 19 July 2022
Published online: 25 August 2022
In the current renewable energies’ expansion framework, the increasing part of intermittent electricity production sources (solar or wind farms) in the energy mix and the reducing part of thermal power stations that are nowadays useful to ensure grid stability will lead to a complete paradigm shift concerning the means to ensure grid stability. Nuclear energy, which is carbon-free and dispatchable, may be a sustainable solution to this grid reliability issue if it is adequately designed and implemented on the grid. Several solutions aiming at improving the future nuclear power flexibility are currently under investigation in the literature, among them are those based on Small Modular Reactor (SMR) plants. In order to demonstrate their potential ability to stabilize electric grids, it is necessary to perform electrical dynamic simulations taking into account a spatial and temporal discretization of the grid. In this paper, such calculations are performed using the PowerFactory software. This tool can reproduce electrical grids thanks to models of turbo generators, lines, transformers, loads, I&C systems, etc. The objective is to assess to what extent the innovative SMR features may enhance the frequency control of a grid. For this purpose, a short-circuit event and three frequency stability criteria are firstly defined. Then, a verification of the correct behaviour of the IEEE 39-bus (or New England) grid with regulations is carried out. The relevance of implementing Small Modular Reactors (SMR) instead of large power plants on such frequency stability criteria on this grid is finally assessed, in order to conclude in a preliminary way the possible contribution of small reactors to the future grid’s sustainability.
© C. Boudot et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2022
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