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Institution news

60 seconds with...Paolo Ferroni, Westinghouse Electric Company

Institution News Team

Paolo Ferroni
Paolo Ferroni

Ahead of his presentation at the IMechE's Advanced Nuclear Reactor Design seminar next month, we caught up with Paolo to get preview of how Westinghouse are pushing the envelope in nuclear plant design.

For full details, programme and to register your place, please visit the event website.

Please briefly explain your role, involvement and experience with regards to nuclear and nuclear new-build.

Paolo Ferroni (PF): I am a Consulting Engineer in Westinghouse, with 15 years of experience in the development of advanced reactors. Over the past seven years I’ve been the Technical Lead for the development of the Westinghouse LFR, overseeing all the technical activities pertaining to the development of this GenIV concept.

What is the top challenge facing the industry at present?

PF: Economics. Specifically, the capability to achieve an affordable front-end capital cost while ensuring a competitive levelized cost of electricity.

How would you say the industry has evolved over the past two years?

PF: The nuclear industry has evolved in terms of realizing that the needs of markets and societies are evolving, especially in terms of requiring versatility in applications beyond baseload electricity, and that nuclear must adapt to these needs to ensure marketability.

What developments are going on in your industry which will change your approach in the future?

PF: Increased emphasis on non-electricity applications and on the need to modernize nuclear leveraging cross-cutting innovation in digital&control, advanced manufacturing, etc.

What will you be presenting at the Advanced Nuclear Reactor 2022 seminar and how will this benefit participants?

PF: I will be presenting the Westinghouse Lead Fast Reactor (LFR) project, including the development work ongoing in the UK where eight state-of-the-art test facilities are being erected and will start operating near the end of 2022. LFR is Westinghouse’s next-generation high-capacity nuclear power plant intended to provide cost-competitive flexible electricity in any market while offering versatility in applications and fuel cycle. The presentation will benefit the participants from the standpoint of 1) understanding Westinghouse’s comprehensiveness in terms of reactor portfolio, 2) gaining an appreciation of Westinghouse’s efforts in GenIV/AMR development, and 3) appreciating the favourable attributes and maturity of LFR compared to other GenIV/AMR technologies.

Which other speakers and presentations are you looking forward to hearing at the forthcoming seminar?

PF: Presentations by BEIS and other AMR developers.

Why is it important for engineers and nuclear industry representatives to come together and share best practice?

PF: Because capabilities and priorities vary across organizations. Sharing information help each other to address and/or anticipate challenges, as well as to initiate potential collaborations on areas of common interest.

The Institution's Advanced Nuclear Reactor Design seminar will take place on 11 October 2022 in Manchester

This year’s event will focus on developments on these projects since the last event held in 2020 and will provide attendees with a detailed showcase of Advanced Modular Reactors and Small Modular Reactor development, government support and technical achievements to date.

For full details, programme and to register your place, please visit the event website.

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