Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

Travis W. Knight


Nuclear power plants have historically been large, expensive, and prolonged construction projects. A new generation of reactors categorized as microreactors is currently being designed to address energy needs in remote locations. The University of South Carolina has proposed the MIcro Nuclear In ONe megawatt (MINION-1) design to achieve ten years of operation. The primary loop transfers 1 MW of energy from the reactor core using helium, while the secondary uses air in an open Brayton cycle to produce power and heat. This work focuses on modeling the MINION-1 design using the System Analysis Module (SAM) developed by Argonne National Labs (ANL) and conducting a complete plant analysis. A unit-cell approach was used in the state-of-theart System Analysis Module (SAM) application, which simulates the MINION-1 steadystate and using resulting boundary condition outputs to calculate overall system efficiency. The steady-state exit temperature of the core is 664 K (391 C) and a maximum fuel temperature of 1611 K (1338 C). The net amount of work produced by the system is 237.71 kW resulting in an overall efficiency of 23.77%.