Photo: Holtec's SMR-160 is entering the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's licensing process (Credit: Holtec)Holtec International said that its drive to secure design certification for its SMR-160 small modular reactor from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was “on an accelerated schedule”.

At a kickoff meeting with the NRC officials on 30 September, Holtec presented a licensing roadmap which envisages a seamless progression from Part 50 to Part 52, and a Licensing Topical Report (LTR) submittal schedule to support an accelerated availability plan.

The first planned submittal, scheduled within a few weeks, is a Topical Report covering the essential safety features of the SMR-160 that render it intrinsically safe, namely: i) the Passive Core Cooling System (PCCS) and ii) the Passive Containment Heat Removal System (PCHR). This submission will also demonstrate that the PCCS and PCHR comply with the General Design Criteria, an important enabler to expedite licensing efforts.

Holtec said the SMR-160 PCCS, classically referred to as the Emergency Core Cooling System, is an innovative embodiment that ensures the SMR-160 plant’s safety during postulated accidents. “An essential aspect of the PCCS is its reliance on redundant, diverse, and passive heat removal systems”.

Holtec completed the Vendor Design Review Phase 1 in Canada earlier this year and is currently planning the next step in the Canadian design approval process. The NRC licensing process will build on these prior activities, Holtec said, noting that the SMR-160 Safety Analysis Report, which has reached a substantial completion milestone, is developed in accordance with 10CFR50 General Design Criteria and NRC requirements.

The SMR-160 is a small modular pressurised light-water reactor, which generates 160MWe (525MWth).  The plant safety systems that access the SMR-160 cooling water reserve are passive, meaning they operate under the force of gravity to enable rejection of the waste heat generated from reactor operations. 

Photo: Holtec's SMR-160 is entering the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's licensing process