The 2020 Small Modular Reactor Hackathon is a first of a kind event organized to broaden the discussion of nuclear energy solutions through a series of formal and informal case studies. It is organized by the NEA Education, Skills and Technology Framework (NEST) SMR project sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Agency, and the Small Modular Advanced Reactor Training (SMART) program funded by NSERC-Canada. The hackathon will be fully hosted online and involve students from multiple continents.
The event involves a series of online lectures with top engineering, science and social scientists interlaced with small team project breakout sessions where students will examine innovative aspects of SMR technology. Each student team will select one of four case studies that will be their primary focus for the week. What is unique, within this event, is that the Hackathon will bring together the traditional science and engineering technologies with social and political science aspects.
The event features introduction by government and industry, panel discussion from global leaders, innovative story board training, and discussions on project planning and execution. Based on these aspects each student team will prepare a free-format outcome which describes their solution to the Case study considered.
The organizers are very excited about this new event, and hope that both students and lecturers will learn a lot from the outcomes.
Todd Allen, University of Michigan
Dave Novog, McMaster University
The NEST SMR program is an NEA program involving the EU, USA and Canada and is dedicated to the training and development of people for the upcoming SMR deployment phase.
The SMART program is a large training program looking to produce more well rounded and entrepreneurially focused grad students who can succeed in the competitive world of small SMR vendors. It involves six universities and 10 principal investigators and aims to train students to succeed in the new nuclear environment where many small companies co-exist instead of the historical model of one or two major industry players.