From 23 to 27 October 2023, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering UWB organized an international workshop for students and young researchers focused on small modular reactors (SMR).
Participants from Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Serbia, and Ghana came to Pilsen for the workshop "PILSMR 2023". Representatives of major Czech companies in the nuclear and non-nuclear industry - I&C Energo, Czechatom, TES, and Metrostav - also attended. Doctoral and Master's students from the Department of Electrical Power Engineering of FEE UWB were also present.
During the event, a number of lectures were given by leading experts from Italy, France, and the Czech Republic - for example, from the Academy of Sciences, the Rez Research Centre, or the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Several specific concepts of small modular reactors were presented, including a number of challenges that accompany the development of these complicated devices.
On Wednesday, the program included a visit to Doosan Škoda Power with an interesting excursion to the production facilities of steam turbines, an essential part of all SMRs for power generation. An interactive part of the workshop was the independent work of the participants, where, in small groups, they tried to design a suitable reactor for selected countries from Europe and the world. At the end of the workshop, everyone successfully presented and defended their concept to the other participants.
"I definitely appreciate the opportunity to participate in an interesting event about SMR right here in Pilsen, as I am working on this issue as part of my master's thesis. I was most impressed by the lectures from foreign experts, for example, Prof. Ricotti, on the safety and economics of SMR. Still, it was also great to meet and discuss with foreign students," said Jan Ullmann, a student in the follow-up Master study program of power engineering at FEE UWB.
The topic of small modular reactors is currently very popular worldwide. Also, in the Czech Republic, several research teams are involved in developing SMR technologies; for example, the University of West Bohemia has its own concept of a small nuclear reactor - TEPLATOR - in cooperation with CIIRC Czech Technical University in Prague. Together with other concepts, such as the David, CR-100, or ALLEGRO reactors, the results of our research activities were presented to foreign participants at the workshop.
The event was organized with the financial support of the European Nuclear Education Network within the international project ENEN2Plus, of which the University of West Bohemia is a part. This is the largest European educational project to date, with a total of 51 participating institutions from 20 countries, which aims to promote the international experience of young professionals in all nuclear fields.