ARC 100, Modular Reactor, Passes First Phase of Canada’s Nuclear Safety Commission Vendor Design Review

Advanced Reactor Concepts is developing an exportable, factory-produced, 100 MWe nuclear reactor with fixed fuel costs for 20+ years.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed the first phase of a vendor design review of ARC Nuclear Canada’s ARC-100 small modular reactor. The design is the third advanced reactor to complete the first phase of the CNSC’s regulatory pre-licensing review.

The ARC-100 design creates a “walk away” passive safety system that insures the reactor will never meltdown even in a disaster that causes a complete loss of power to the plant site. In addition, it can be fueled with the nuclear waste produced by traditional reactors, and its 20-year refueling cycle offers new levels of proliferation resistance. It provides a new model for nuclear power that is based on factory fabrication of modular components that can be shipped for rapid site assembly, thereby promoting the prompt start of a revenue stream.

* The use of sodium instead of water as the heat transfer agent in the reactor allows the reactor to operate at ambient pressure. Its containment vessel is a double-walled stainless steel tank rather than a 12 inch thick forged steel containment vessel required for traditional light water reactors

* Small enough that its modularized components can be shipped and installed at the site using regular commercial equipment, such as barges, rail, trucks, and construction cranes.

The CNSC’s pre-licensing vendor design review is an optional service to provide an assessment of a nuclear power plant design based on a vendor’s reactor technology. It is not a required part of the licensing process for a new nuclear power plant, but aims to verify the acceptability of a design with respect to Canadian nuclear regulatory requirements and expectations.

The review involves three phases: a pre-licensing assessment of compliance with regulatory requirements; an assessment of any potential fundamental barriers to licensing; and a follow-up phase allowing the vendor to respond to findings from the second phase. These findings will be taken into account in any subsequent construction licence application, increasing the efficiency of technical reviews. The duration of each review is estimated based on the vendor’s proposed schedule. A Phase 1 review typically takes 12–18 months and a Phase 2 review takes 24 months.

ARC is developing the ARC-100, a 100 MWe integrated sodium-cooled fast reactor with a metallic uranium alloy core. The company in March 2017 signed an agreement with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to collaborate on development and licensing, and uses proprietary technology from GEH’s PRISM reactor. Both the PRISM and ARC-100 designs are based on the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II) integral sodium-cooled fast reactor prototype which operated at the USA’s Argonne National Laboratory from 1961, finally shutting down in 1994.

This is the third advanced reactor design review conducted by the CNSC, the other two being Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation’s MMR-5 and MMR-10 high-temperature gas reactor.

SOURCES- World Nuclear News, ARC
Written By Brian Wang,

23 thoughts on “ARC 100, Modular Reactor, Passes First Phase of Canada’s Nuclear Safety Commission Vendor Design Review”

  1. Erm, I spoke too soon -‘Three woodcutters were hospitalized with radiation sickness after discovering two strontium-90 sources 27km outside the village of Liya in Tsalenjikha District, Georgia in early December 2001, according to NTV. The radiation was emitted by two cylinders, six inches long and four inches in diameter (15cm long and 10cm in diameter), that contained strontium-90 and were used in radiothermal generators installed in the area during the Soviet era and then abandoned.According to NTV and Interfax, the three men had broken through the lead, tungsten, concrete, and ferrous layers that shielded the strontium-90, while the New York Times reported that the men found the cylinders laying in the snow.According to the Los Angeles Times, the men took the cylinders to their campsite to use as heat sources and became sick within hours from the radiation exposure. They went to the local hospital and were later transferred to a hospital in Tblisi. The Washington Post reported that as of 18 March 2002, one victim had recovered, while the other two remained in hospitals in Moscow and Paris.’

  2. The Soviets were using Strontium 90 to power lighthouses. Non-whimpy types vandalised them after the fall of the evil empire, but if it killed anyone, they didn’t make the headlines.

  3. Yeah, they had an impeller blade crack during testing on one of the Chinese ones, and had to ship them back to the States. Electromagnetic pumps seem to be a mature technology, though, and I can’t remember any previous sodium cooled reactors having pump problems. Unexpected power excursions have been more trouble.
    The ARC is looking at using a supercritical CO2 turbine, and printed circuit heat exchangers, which should greatly reduce the volume of both items, and make any sodium leaks less problematic than with water.

  4. “the canned pumps in the AP1000 are supposed to be good for the life of the reactor”.
    I am a bit skeptical about that.

  5. Nah dude.

    Jello might be a bit aggressive at times, but when it comes to nuclear tech he’s an invaluable source that lifts this site from rehashing public info up to real learning.

    Don’t throw the valuable bathwater out with the annoying baby.

  6. 100 mW = milliwatts.

    100 mW = .0000007 MW (megawatts)

    Answering your question seriously, not considering the error in mega to milli:

    A 100 MW reactor like this can be MODULAR. The objective is to produce most of the pieces in an almost factory like condition… that is, hundreds of equal parts.

    That reduces costs much more than a big reactor ever can, because big reactors are mostly “custom made”.

    In other words, it’s much cheaper to build 10 1GW powerplants, each one with 10 units of these modular 100 MW reactors, than it is to build 10 1 GW common powerplants, or a single 10GW powerplant.

  7. Insulting an opponent is not an argument, and automatically puts you in the trash bin. Henceforth, you are formally on the list.

  8. Those were powered by alpha decay of Pu238, not fission. Good times. Now the best one can get is zero-watt tritium cell. In good times, there was a program for production of polonium for power sources – in tonnage. Bismuth goes into reactor, polonium comes out of reprocessing plant. Magnificent, or rather would be. There are applications, but no power isotopes available to anyone but some governments. Even the “please-please-take-it-for-free” kind of isotopes (bulk fission products like Sr90) are off limits. The wimpy generation took care of all that, and all but abandoned nuclear power while they were at it.

  9. The old nuclear powered pacemakers put out 300 μW, so there are definitely applications for that sort of power.

  10. They could be planning for electromagnetic pumps, with no moving parts. If not, the canned pumps in the AP1000 are supposed to be good for the life of the reactor, though there were some major problems getting them certified for that.

  11. Of course it is silly. A 100mW reactor could power only a few LEDs, and would not be able to charge a phone overnight.

  12. I think it is silly to make a 100mW reactor. A 1300mW or 1700mW reactor really is not that much larger. The more power you make, the less it costs to produce. Personally, I think we should be trying to make huge ones like 5,000mW or 10,000mW reactors on sites that you can expand and build several. I think that is the best way to undermine coal…possibly even natural gas despite its low cost. A lot of costs are the same whether it is a large producer or a low producer. Same security costs, same land cost, same operator cost…

  13. So, they have the pump sitting in the reactor vessel right next to the actual core.

    I’m assuming that pump maintenance and repair is going to be an issue.

  14. Do you mean send John Kerry into the sun? He and Clinton administration stopped this line of tech… IFR, EBR2… This has little to do with NRC ‘heel dragging’ or the usual ‘over regulated’ excuse. This was Dems killing a Republican jobs program under the guise of ‘nyyucular proriferatin’

  15. At least GE is somewhat associated with the effort.

    “Stage 1” of this Canadian process is all we’ve seen so far out of Terrestrial or any other non CANDU design. Basically means: they sat down with the regulator and discussed intent to satisfy general design criteria literally, or in spirit/intent as applicable. Maybe 500 man hours among all involved.

  16. That news will provide a much-deserved kick in the butt to certain people who should have been fired (out of a cannon, into the Sun) twenty years ago. Thanks, Canada!

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