Panel on Application of Systems Engineering for Safety Analysis of Small Modular Reactors

I recently had the pleasure to help organize and participate on a panel at the American Nuclear Society‘s Winter meeting in Anaheim, California. As a panel, we discussed  growing body of knowledge and technology focused on complex system safety analysis as applied to small modular reactors.

The panel consisted of myself, Dr. Ben Amaba of IBM, Dr. Kristiina Soderholm of Fortum, and Dr. Irem Tumer of Oregon State University. During the panel we each gave an introduction and background and then posed several questions or comments to the audience on the topic of systems engineering and nuclear safety. Dr. Tumer started the panel and described her ground-break research at OSU in the area of complex systems analysis. I then followed and spoke about some of the techniques that are being used in the nuclear industry for analyzing nuclear safety. Dr. Soderholm wrapped up the panel by speaking about her work at Fortum in the area of small modular reactor licensing.

Dr. Amaba had prepared some stock questions ahead of time in case the audience wasn’t very engaged but hands went up as soon as we were done and the Q&A lasted more than 45 minutes without a pause!

The initial questions from the audience focused on small modular reactor licensing in the US and associated challenges. The audience also asked questions about university-industry collaborations in the area of complexity research and hybrid energy systems and associated safety analyses.

I had a great time as a member on the panel and look forward to more of the same in the future! Included in this post is our “Jazz Hands” picture of the panel at the local New Orlean’s-style restaurant.

ANS panel

Left-to-right: Dr. Kristiina Soderholm, Dr. Irem Tumer, Dr. Ben Amaba, and Dr. Kent Welter (ANS Panel, Anaheim, CA)