Speeding Up Time to Market: A Role for Standards and Reference Designs for Advanced Nuclear Reactors in the U.S.
The use of reference designs in the U.S. has a good history in the form of the experience of the U.S. Railroad Administration during World War I. To reason by analogy, nuclear reactors boil water to make steam to turn that energy into useful power.
Is there a case to be made to borrow the idea of reference designs from steam locomotives to apply it to the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors? This article explores this question.
In the second decade of the 20th century, just over 100 years ago, steam locomotives, which do somewhat the same thing as nuclear reactors, which is to boil water to make steam to produce useful work, were in need of a making a major leap in terms of designs that would deliver more power more efficiently and which could be manufactured quickly and in large numbers.