R&D Quick Hits

Facts, Figures, and Findings from EPRI Research, Reports, and Other Sources

Photo of construction of Vogtle Unit 3 courtesy of Georgia Power. Study: Highly Fluid Concrete Can Reduce Time and Labor of Nuclear Plant Construction
Self-consolidating concrete offers potential to significantly reduce time and construction costs associated with placing concrete for nuclear power plants, according to an EPRI study. When conventional concrete is placed, technicians must temporarily liquefy it with vibrators so that it flows around obstacles and fills forms. This is particularly labor-intensive work in building nuclear plants’ complex structures with reinforcing steel. Developed in Japan in the mid-1980s, self-consolidating concrete contains chemicals that promote ...
Read More
Knowledge related to nondestructive evaluation (NDE) in nuclear plants needs to be preserved and transferred to a new generation of workers, or it will be lost, an EPRI study concluded. A 2016 survey of major NDE personnel providers for the nuclear industry found that:
  • About half the workers are older than 45, and about 25% are older than 55.
  • Since 2014, the size of the workforce has declined by 3% each year.
  • Trainees and workers with entry-level certifications account for 6% of the workforce—not enough to fill the gap left by retiring workers with higher level certifications.
  • ...
    Read More
EPRI Models 13 Scenarios to Examine Key Uncertainties Between 2015 and 2030, coal’s share of the U.S. electric generation mix could decline significantly, while natural gas’s share is likely to grow, according to a recent EPRI study. Using EPRI’s U.S. Regional Economy, Greenhouse Gas, and Energy (US-REGEN) model, researchers examined 13 scenarios, including low and high natural gas prices, flat and increasing electric load, photovoltaic technology, for aging coal- and natural-gas-fired plants, potential paths to implement the federal , and other to reduce CO2 emissions in the U.S. electric sector. Key insights:
  • Between 2015 and 2030, coal’s ...
    Read More
EPRI Study: Driving EVs and Off-Road Electric Equipment Could Improve Air Quality
By 2030, deployment of electric vehicles and can lead to modest, but widespread, emissions reductions and air quality improvements in the service area of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), according to an EPRI study. Using an EPRI model and TVA market data, researchers projected that in 2030, electric vehicles would account for 9% of vehicle miles in the TVA region, and various types of electric off-road equipment would capture market share ranging from 17% to 85%. Based on this, they modeled the impacts on air ...
Read More
Study: LEDs Can Replace Fluorescent Lights with Equal Performance and High Efficiency
An EPRI study indicates that utilities should consider linear (LED) lamps and for rebates and incentives in their energy efficiency programs to replace linear fluorescent lights in the commercial sector. The switch offers significant energy savings with adequate light levels and . Researchers scanned the LED market for potential fluorescent light replacements and examined 20 products in EPRI’s lighting laboratory, measuring light output, , , energy savings, and payback. LED lamps offered energy savings of 25–61% relative to fluorescents. LEDs in dimmable troffers provided 28–36% ...
Read More