Westinghouse is working on a 225 MWe small modular reactor (SMR). The 14-month-old SMR project a top internal priority at the company. Parts of the smaller reactor break down “like Lego’s,” said Mr. Anness, so the entire plant can be transported piece by piece on rail cars. The entire construction process is expected to take about 18 months, compared to several years needed for the AP1000.
The integral pressurized water reactor (iPWR) will be built underground in a hole that measures about 100 feet deep and 100 feet wide.
The AP1000 generates about 1,100 megawatts, while the light water SMR should generate 225.
An AP1000 facility needs about 50 acres; the SMR should need 15.
Once the AP1000 clears the last of its regulatory hurdles and moves into the product phase, the SMR will become the largest development program at Westinghouse.
Construction on two AP1000s in Georgia and two in South Carolina already has begun, and the first to be completed should be generating electricity by 2016. More than 10 are already planned for China.
Westinghouse expects the first SMR to generate electricity by 2020.