Purdue and Duke Energy to explore potential of clean nuclear power source for campus

April 27, 2022

Purdue and Duke Energy to explore potential of clean nuclear power source for campus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University and Duke Energy announced today (April 27) that they plan to jointly explore the feasibility of using advanced nuclear energy to meet the long-term energy needs of the campus community.

With growing interest around the world in new, reliable, carbon-free technologies, Purdue and Duke Energy intend to study the power produced by small modular reactors (SMRs), a move that could be unprecedented for a university campus and could meet Purdue’s energy needs. .

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, SMR are among the most promising emerging technologies in the field of nuclear energy. Significantly smaller than traditional nuclear power plants, an SMR could meet the current and future needs of Purdue’s West Lafayette campus and provide surplus power to the state power grid.

Home to one of the nation’s top nuclear engineering programs and a national leader in scalable and sustainable energy innovation, Purdue and its experts are uniquely qualified to assess this “giant leap” toward a carbon-free energy future.

“No other option has as much potential to deliver reliable and adequate electric power without carbon emissions,” Purdue Chairman Mitch Daniels said. “Innovation and new ideas are at the heart of what we do at Purdue, and that includes finding ways to minimize the use of fossil fuels while providing carbon-free, reliable and affordable energy. We see enough promise in these new technologies to undertake an exploration of their practicality, and few places are better placed to do so.

Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar said, “Duke Energy is leading the industry’s largest clean energy transformation nationwide, and exploring technologies like this is important work. to help us achieve this. Nuclear provides reliable power and can supplement other carbon-free energy sources, such as solar and wind power. As the nation’s largest regulated nuclear power plant operator, we have over 50 years of experience in safe and reliable operations. We can share this experience with one of America’s top engineering schools to see what this technology could bring to their campus as well as the state.

Purdue is currently powered by the Wade Utility Plant, which is a combined heat and power system that uses steam to provide heat, electricity and chilled water used to cool the facilities. A new Duke Energy plant on campus also supplies thermal power in the form of steam to Purdue, while also supplying electricity to Duke Energy customers in Indiana. Approximately 50% of campus electricity is purchased from Duke Energy.

Michael B. Cline, Purdue’s senior vice president for administrative operations, said, “This effort provides a timely opportunity for Purdue to work with our partners to determine whether nuclear power can be a practical and affordable option to meet our long-term needs.

Advanced nuclear technology is still under development, and nationwide Duke Energy is involved with industry groups, reactor technology companies and leading research universities such as Purdue exploring the deployment of this advanced nuclear technology.

SMRs are revolutionary in part because of their modular nature. They can be prefabricated off-site, saving time and money during construction. And Purdue is at the forefront of this technology by pioneering, developing and verifying the sheet-steel composite construction used in on-campus SMRs. Bowen Laboratory through the Center for Structural Engineering and Nuclear Power Plants, led by Amit Varma, Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue and director of the Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research.

“Steel plate composite technology is fundamental to successfully deploying SMRs on budget and on time,” Varma said. “We have the world’s most eminent team and facilities to perform the testing, analysis, design and build demonstration to actualize the potential of this technology.

Purdue engineering leaders and experts involved will include Mung Chiang, Seungjin Kim, Amit Varma and Arden Bement. Chiang is Purdue University’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and John A. Edwardson Dean of Purdue’s College of Engineering. Kim is Capt. James McCarthy, Jr. and Cheryl E. McCarthy heads the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. Bement has achieved international recognition as director of the National Science Foundation and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has a long and distinguished career at Purdue, having served as Basil S. Turner Professor Emeritus of Electroceramics, David A. Ross Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering, Director of Global Affairs and First Director of the Global Policy Research Institute. .

Exploration, including a series of meetings and joint studies, will begin in the coming weeks. Purdue’s sustainability blueprint is available here.

by Purdue nuclear engineering graduate program is ranked among the best in the country by US News & World Report. Nuclear engineering students can learn and conduct research using PUR-1the state’s first and only nuclear reactor, and the first and only NRC facility in the United States to be licensed for an all-digital instrument and control system. University reactors used for teaching and research are all far too small to power a university community.

Duke Energy operates the nation’s largest regulated nuclear fleet, with 11 nuclear units at six sites in North Carolina and South Carolina. These plants generate nearly 11,000 megawatts of reliable, carbon-free electricity, about half the electricity needed by its customers in the Carolinas, with some of the lowest generation costs in the country. In 2021, the nuclear fleet reached its record capacity factor (a measure of reliability) of 95.7% and avoided the release of more than 50.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution that develops practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the past four years as one of the 10 most innovative universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers groundbreaking research and groundbreaking discoveries. Committed to hands-on, online, real-world learning, Purdue provides transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap to https://stories.purdue.edu.

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively possess 50,000 megawatts of power capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to meet its goals of net methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least 50% carbon reduction from power generation by 2030 and net emissions carbon emissions by 2050. Zero goals also include Scope 2 emissions and some Scope 3 emissions. zero-emission power generation such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Top Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. the Duke Energy News Center contains press releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy lighting features stories about people, innovations, community issues and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, instagram and Facebook.

Purdue University Media Contact: Tim Doty, 765-494-2080, [email protected]

Duke Energy Indiana Media Contact: Angeline Protogere, 317-431-1910 | 24-hour media line: 800-559-3853, [email protected]

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