Initial pre-application review meeting was held with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on July 2008. NuScale anticipates filing Design Certification application in 2012. NuScale forecasts the first plant can be online producing electricity from 2018.
NSSS will be factory built:
* Entire NSSS prefabricated and shipped by rail, truck or barge (it will weigh about 300 tons for each module for 60 foot long and 14 foot in diameter cylinder)
• Natural Circulation Cooling:
* Inherently safe – Eliminates major accident scenarios
* Improves economics – Eliminates pumps, pipes, valves
• Large natural heat sink
* Simplifies and enhances safety case
• Proven Technology
• Below Ground
* Enhances security and safety
The use of thorium in the NuScale plant was briefly explored during studies in 2002-3. A thorium fuel core could be installed and, as expected, plutonium inventories in spent fuel would be reduced. Core design issues would arise due to the reduced delayed neutron fraction, with implications for control rod designs. In addition, new fuel areas would need to be designed for higher radiation levels. Even though these matters have not been explored in depth, we see no technical issues that would preclude the design and installation of a thorium fueled core in a NuScale plant
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