Oct. 3, 2018 — Southwest Research Institute and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) in Tokyo, Japan, recently extended a 20-year agreement for an additional five years to collaborate, providing technology, research and development services to CRIEPI member utilities.
“Extension of the CRIEPI-SwRI agreement is important to continuing decades of ongoing research and collaborative results,” said Jay Fisher, who serves as the SwRI liaison for the collaboration. Fisher is a specialist in nondestructive evaluation technologies CRIEPI has used to inspect power generation infrastructure in Japan, including commercial nuclear power plants. “We share expertise and experience in many areas important to our respective missions. In addition, we each have unique facilities that can be made available to support mutually agreeable research efforts.”
Past collaborative successes include developing inspection techniques for high-temperature gas turbine blade coatings and interactions on best practices for managing high-tech R&D programs.
Moving forward, SwRI and CRIEPI are discussing using risk-informed approaches and modeling to evaluate natural hazards, including fire hazards at nuclear facilities. SwRI supported the implementation of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s risk-informed, performance-based fire standard, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 805. SwRI’s hazard analysis expertise could be enhanced by cooperation with CRIEPI, which has unique test facilities for simulating response of structures to earthquakes and tsunami-generated waves.
“We are also exploring collaboration in aging management for nuclear plants and other critical infrastructure,” said Dr. Wesley C. Patrick, executive director of SwRI’s Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses. “Aging management encompasses a spectrum of expertise, including nondestructive evaluation, materials degradation, corrosion processes and monitoring technologies. SwRI experience developing aging-management database tracking systems also may be applicable to systems in Japan.”
Other areas of potential collaboration include advanced technology for safe and efficient electric power generation, storage and distribution, including advanced combustion cycles and smart grid technology.
CRIEPI is a nonprofit foundation that oversees research and development activities related to energy and the environment, serving the Japanese electric power industry and public.