The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has completed the fourth phase of review of the design certification application (DCA) for the company’s revolutionary small modular reactor (SMR). NuScale reached this milestone on schedule, marking yet another significant achievement along its path to commercialization. The entire review of NuScale’s SMR design is now in Phases 5 and 6.
Phase 4 of the NRC’s DCA review represents completion of the advanced safety evaluation report (SER) with no open items. Completion of Phase 4 is significant as it signifies near-completion of the technical review. All requests for additional information have been closed, and all open items have been closed. This is the last version of the SER before the NRC issues its Final SER in September 2020, and the NRC remains on track to complete its final review of NuScale’s design by this date. The Final SER represents approval by the NRC staff of our design.
As NuScale’s first customer, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems is planning a 12-module SMR plant in Idaho slated for operation by the mid-2020s based on the NRC’s certified design. In preparation for its first SMR plant in the U.S., NuScale has also signed MOUs to explore the deployment of its technology in Canada, Jordan, the Czech Republic, and Romania, and similar agreements are being discussed with other potential customers.
The Nuscale reactor measures 65 feet tall x 9 feet in diameter. It sits within a containment vessel measuring 76 feet tall x 15 feet in diameter. The reactor and containment vessel operate inside a water-filled pool that is built below grade. The reactor operates using the principles of buoyancy driven natural circulation; hence, no pumps are needed to circulate water through the reactor. Water is heated as it passes over the core. As it heats up, the water rises through the central riser within the interior of the vessel.
Thermal capacity 200 MWt Electrical capacity 60 MWe (gross) Capacity factor over 95 percent Dimensions 76' x 15' cylindrical containment vessel module containing reactor and steam generator Weight ~700 tons in total are shipped from the factory in three segments Transportation Truck, rail or barge Cost Numerous advantages due to simplicity, modular design, volume manufacturing and shorter construction times Fuel Standard LWR fuel in 17 x 17 configuration, each assembly 2 meters (~ 6 ft.) in length; up to 24-month refueling cycle with fuel enriched at less than 5 percent