The Energy Impact Center (EIC), which brought us the well-known Titans of Nuclear podcast series, has recently launched “OPEN100,” which provides important open-source information intended to streamline the power plant design and licensing process with an emphasis on simplifying design, reducing construction costs and timelines, and increasing price certainty.

Launched on February 25, 2020, OPEN100  provides an open source power plant design and supporting information for a standardized 100 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR), including engineering schematics, construction schedule intended to fit with a project finance timetable, and detailed economic analysis.  EIC claims that “it is detailed enough for any utility to begin early site studies with +/- 20% cost predictability. It is abstract enough to allow for site-specific engineering details to be added, with a 50M dollar budget allocated per plant for such efforts.”

The OPEN100 website also contains a video showing the how the OPEN100 power plant is assembled from start to finish.

In a blog post announcing OPEN100, EIC founder Bret Kugelmass writes:

Instead of building bigger or more complex projects, cost reductions will be achieved by going back to a simpler, more streamlined process and adopting today’s best practices in construction — focusing on standardization and speed of delivery. Simply put, we can course-correct the nuclear industry’s downfall by taking what worked in the beginning and right-sizing it to fit today’s capital, infrastructure, and supply-chain constraints.

Over the past six months, the EIC engineering team has built upon the success of its initial technical-economic analysis of the sector to create an open-source template for designing and constructing a nuclear power plant. This blueprint for future development includes no technological enhancements or scientific breakthroughs but rather focuses exclusively on construction methodology. It prioritizes plant economics and assembly time.

EIC intends to update the website based on collaborations with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories and other international and industry partners.  Bret further explains that the “OPEN100” can be used by a number of key stakeholders including:

  • Utilities can conduct feasibility studies and issue request-for-proposals.
  • Equipment vendors can upload pre-integrated components accessing a new sales channel.
  • Reactor designers can leverage balance-of-plant engineering work.
  • Investors can evaluate project economics.
  • And governments can pre-certify a license to streamline development.

Please contact the blog authors for any additional questions.