The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has completed the first and most intensive phase of review for NuScale Power’s design certification application (DCA). NuScale’s is the first and only small modular reactor (SMR) application to ever undergo NRC review. This major achievement brings NuScale Power closer to introducing the country’s first SMR to market, putting the U.S. on a path to beat foreign competitors like Russia and China at a global SMR race.
NuScale is planning small factory built modules that will be delivered by heavy truck, rail or ship.
The NRC is expected to certify NuScale’s design, and the company’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, is planning a 12-module SMR plant in Idaho slated for operation by the mid-2020s based on this certified design.
“We are thankful for the rigorous review of our revolutionary nuclear design and greatly appreciate the government recognizing the importance of furthering NuScale’s advancement,” said NuScale Power Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins. “Our technology means significant economic and job benefits for the country and it’s positioned to revitalize the domestic nuclear industry by virtue of NuScale’s affordable, flexible, and safe solution to providing zero-carbon energy.”
During the 115,000 hours the NRC spent reviewing the DCA, it issued far fewer requests for additional information compared to other design certification applications, demonstrating the simplicity of the design and quality of the application.
Additionally, in a sign of continued support, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded NuScale $40 million in cost-sharing financial assistance under its “U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development” funding opportunity. The federal award supports early-stage research and development and the industry’s acceleration of these technologies to promote U.S. energy independence, energy dominance, electricity grid resiliency, national security, and clean baseload power.
About NuScale Power
NuScale Power, LLC is developing a new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant. This groundbreaking technology features a fully factory fabricated NuScale Power Module™ capable of generating 50MW of power using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. NuScale’s scalable design – a power plant can house up to 12 individual power modules –offers the benefits of carbon-free nuclear power and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. NuScale’s technology is also ideally suited to supply energy for district heating, desalination, and process heat applications.
The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR), a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power.
NuScale Power is developing game-changing nuclear technology to produce electricity and also process heat for a variety of industrial applications, including desalinization for the production of clean water, to improve the quality of life for people around the world. At the heart of NuScale Power’s technology is the NuScale Power Module™ (NPM). The fully-fabricated small modular reactor (SMR) brings together traditional components – the reactor vessel, steam generator, and high-pressure steel containment – into a single, simplified unit.
In 2013, NuScale Power was selected as the sole winner of the second round of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) competitively-bid, $226 million, five-year, financial assistance award to develop nuclear SMR technology, and subsequently in 2015, the DOE awarded a $16.6 million award to NuScale Power for the preparation of a combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) for NuScale’s first customer, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems’ (UAMPS) Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP). Work under this award continues.
UAMPS is planning to develop a NuScale 12-module reference plant in Idaho with commercial operation of the first module in 2026. UAMPS has selected a preferred site at the Idaho National Laboratory through a site-use agreement with the DOE.
UAMPS is a political subdivision of the State of Utah that provides comprehensive wholesale electric-energy, transmission, and other energy services, on a non-profit basis, to community-owned power systems throughout the Intermountain West. Its 46 members include public power utilities in six states: Utah, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The CFPP plant will offer immediate advantages to UAMPS members through safe, carbon-free energy which will replace retiring coal generating assets. The project will provide high-quality jobs and economic development to the region. It will demonstrate the operation and benefits of SMR technology and will also act as a catalyst for subsequent SMR projects throughout the West.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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