Westinghouse SMR-izes its AP1000 reactor design

21 February 2011

The Westinghouse SMR-a 200 MWe-class, integral pressurized water reactor-extends the advances realized in the company's AP1000 reactor design. It says that the reactor is an 'innovative packaging of proven, light-water reactor components'.

The Westinghouse SMR design encapsulates primary components inside a reactor vessel. From bottom to top, these include shortened 17x17 AP1000 fuel assemblies, AP1000 type reactor internals modified for a smaller core and to provide support for integral control rod drive mechanisms, canned motor reactor coolant pumps (horizontally-mounted axial flow), steam generator with 'innovative approach to steam separation [which is not further explained]' and a hot leg riser mounted inside the steam generator, and an integral pressuriser at the top.

Although few details were initially available, components including control rod drive mechanisms, hydronuts on the closure flange, upper internals and steam generators would all be adapted from the AP1000 to the SMR.

Westinghouse said that such an adaptation would give its SMR 'design and operation certainty that no other vendor can offer'.

Unlike the Hyperion modular reactor SMR design, the entire unit would not be factory-sealed, but built in complete modules, shipped to site by truck or rail, and then assembled on site. However, the smaller size of the module would reduce the amount of piping, for example, said advanced reactor manager Mike Anness in a Platts Energy Week video.

Westinghouse also said it is preparing to work with the upcoming US Department of Energy SMR programme.

Videos are available to watch on www.westinghousenuclear.com/smr/index.htm

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