Oregon-based NuScale Power announced on 25 September that it had selected Virginia-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) to start the engineering work to manufacture its small modular reactor (SMR). The decision followed an 18-month selection process, with expressed interest from 83 companies based in 10 countries. NuScale’s technology is the first and only SMR to undergo Design Certification review by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and is viewed as a leader in the global SMR market, estimated by the Nuclear Energy Agency to be worth more than $100 billion by 2035.
NuScale Power President and CEO John Hopkins said: “BWXT’s established industry experience was important for us, and so was choosing an American company.” BWXT will start work immediately on the first manufacturing phase of NuScale’s SMR, which is expected to continue until June 2020. NuScale will contract for the remaining two phases, preparation for fabrication then fabrication, at a later date. NRC is scheduled to approve NuScale’s Design Certification application in September 2020. NuScale’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, is on track to deploy USA’s first SMR plant in the mid-2020s.
NuScale's SMR features a single containment vessel design housing the reactor core, pressuriser and steam generator. A single module can generate 50MWe (gross) and weighs 450 tonnes. It incorporates simple, redundant, diverse, and independent safety features. A power plant could include up to 12 modules, to produce as much as 600MWe (gross). The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor. BWXT expects to use Pennsylvania-based Precision Custom Components as a component manufacturing contractor on the project.