The interest in "resilient" critical infrastructure, and electric Grid resilience in particular, seems to be accelerating rapidly.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's recent publication of "Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System," the Trump Administration's focus on electric Grid reliability and resilience (Sec. Perry's Cover Letter and DOE Staff Report on Electricity Markets and Reliability), and this week's Congressional hearings on electric Grid resilience (Resiliency: the Electric Grid's Only Hope) and reliability (Powering America: Defining Reliability in a Transforming Electricity Industry), all suggest the time has finally come for a thoughtful and detailed examination of several closely related topics: Critical Infrastructure resilience, electric Grid resilience and reliability, and nuclear power plant resilience.
I've devoted much of my attention during the past two years to the study of electric Grid resilience and the role (current and future) nuclear power plants might play in enhancing Grid resilience. During the next few weeks, I'll be sharing highlights here from a 110-page report I published in August [ATI-TR-2017-14, "Resilient Nuclear Power Plants (rNPPs) – Potential Building Blocks of U.S. Electric Grid and Critical Infrastructure Resilience"]. I will also be delivering a paper entitled, "Enhancing Electric Grid and Critical Infrastructure Resilience With Resilient Nuclear Power Plants (rNPPs)," at the upcoming American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting on November 1 in Washington, D. C.
Resilient Nuclear Power Plants (rNPPs) are nuclear power plants that are intentionally designed, sited, and operated in a manner to enhance overall electric Grid and Critical Infrastructure resilience.
Thus the starting point for discussing rNPPs is the definitions of "Critical Infrastructure resilience" and "electric Grid resilience" – two concepts that are surprisingly difficult to define in a quantitative manner that is useful from the engineering perspective.
I will discuss the concepts of Critical Infrastructure resilience and electric Grid resilience in my next post.