Canadian and US regulators complete reports on BWRX-300

18 August 2023

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have completed two joint reports on GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH’s) BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR).

The first report is a collaborative review of the BWRX-300 steel-plate composite containment vessel and reactor build structural design. The second reviews GEH’s proposed safety strategy for the BWRX-300. CNSC said the proposed strategies are generally consistent with its regulations and processes. However, areas requiring further development have been identified.

Both reports support CNSC’s ongoing review of Ontario Power Generation’s application for a licence to construct a BWRX-300 and are part of the cooperative activities established in the BWRX-300 Charter by CNSC and NRC, under a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) on advanced reactor and SMR technologies.

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s ESBWR which has US Nuclear Regulatory Commission certification. As a result of design simplification, GEH claims the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW compared with other SMR designs. GEH says the BWRX-300 is being designed to reduce construction and operating costs below other nuclear power generation technologies. It will leverage a combination of existing fuel, plant simplifications, proven components as well as a design based on an already licensed reactor.

Image: Rendering of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (courtesy of NRC)

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