Newswise — A Boise State University faculty team has obtained a $41,000 contract from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is the first of its kind awarded to Boise State. The project requires the Boise State team to develop a comprehensive decision framework for assessing the deployment of small and medium-sized nuclear reactors (SMRs), with a particular focus on member states with developing economies.

College of Business and Economics associate professor Geoff Black and assistant professor Meredith Taylor Black, along with Energy Policy Institute Director David Solan, will conduct the study and provide a report to the IAEA. The IAEA will use the study and framework to assist member states in energy planning.

SMRs are a rapidly developing set of technologies that have generated intense interest but still have considerable uncertainty as to their cost and applicability for different uses and circumstances. Countries are interested in adopting SMRs for a variety of reasons, which include energy security, climate change response, integrating renewable energy and lesser infrastructure requirements on less developed electricity grids.

The Boise State team will build upon their previous SMR work that included economic impact modeling, cost modeling and developing measures for technology adoption, government capacity, rule of law and ease of doing business.

“We are honored to receive this award and be afforded the opportunity to work with an international agency on addressing an important global issue,” said Taylor Black. “This study is a great example of international collaboration and research across disciplines.”

Solan and Geoff Black have previously worked on nuclear projects with the IAEA and the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency.