US-based Holtec said earlier this month that it was “pleased to observe” that the growing demand for clean and reliable base load energy was fuelling interest in its SMR-160 small modular reactor (SMR). The SMR-160 is a 160MW light-water based pressurised SMR with a passive safety system.

As an example of international interest in the SMR-160, Holtec noted the recent agreement with ÚJV Řež, part of the ČEZ Group that is majority owned by the Czech government, for evaluation of the reactor for deployment in the Czech Republic. “Small modular reactors are being strongly considered as part of the Czech Republic’s efforts to increase nuclear capacity,” said Dr Rick Springman, Holtec’s SVP of International Projects. “This agreement will provide for technical exchange and cooperation, focusing on the licensing pathway and project assessment for SMR-160 to provide the country with a safe and secure source of clean energy in the future.”

Holtec has also joined a consortium with 15 major companies to establish the Moorside Clean Energy Hub in North West England. This includes a number of nuclear projects at Moorside, including a new UK-EPR pressurised water reactor together with “potentially a clutch of SMRs and other innovative technologies”. 

Springman said: “Holtec’s SMR-160 is the perfect candidate for the Hub as the consortium looks to develop and deploy SMRs at the site. This is also an opportunity for HI-POWER, our manufacturing subsidiary co-owned with Eos, to implement a battery energy storage facility at Moorside utilising Eos’s patented Zynth® (zinc hybrid cathode) technology-based aqueous batteries.”

These two announcements follow a previous agreement that Holtec established last year with Ukrainian nuclear utility to form a consortium partnership to lead the deployment of the SMR-160 in Ukraine. Discussions are also underway with top policy makers in India to deploy hundreds of SMR-160s throughout the subcontinent to generate geographically dispersed clean energy, Holtec said.

SMR-160 has completed phase 1 of the Vendor Design Review (VDR) process in Canada and the licensing process is underway with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Photo: Holtec SMR-160