Holtec International and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd (Hyundai E&C) have signed an agreement to launch an accelerated programme to complete the balance of plant design of the remaining systems and structures for the SMR-160 advanced small modular reactor (SMR). The SMR-160 is a pressurised light-water reactor, generating 160MWe (525MWt) using low-enriched uranium fuel, with flexibility to produce process heat for industrial applications and hydrogen production.
The ceremony, marking one year of collaboration on the SMR-160 programme, was attended by officials from both companies, including a delegation of eight led by Hyundai E&C President and CEO Young-Joon Yoon, and Holtec President and CEO Dr Kris Singh.
The Hyundai E&C/Holtec Team, supported by Kiewit and Mitsubishi Electric, have been collaborating to develop a standard design, which will be deployable in most regions of the world without any significant modification reducing the time from the customer’s authorisation to proceed to the commissioning of the plant.
The agreement builds on an earlier teaming agreement signed a year ago that envisaged the two companies jointly completing the SMR-160 detailed plant design, promoting SMR-160 business and marketing, and jointly participating in project tenders.
Hyundai E&C has been developing the SMR-160 plant design construction specification through close association with Holtec, with the design and associated Safety Analysis Report (SAR) underpinning a construction permit application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the first SMR-160 plant in the US. The design has completed the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's three-phase pre-licensing vendor design review.
In July 2022, Holtec submitted a loan application to US Department of Energy for a $7.4 billion programme to help build four SMR-160s, to expand the output capacity of its existing advanced manufacturing plant and to establish a new giga-factory to manufacture SMR-160s. Holtec has also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Entergy Corporation, which will evaluate the feasibility of deploying one or more SMR-160s at one or more of Entergy’s sites within the Entergy service area. Over the past year, Hyundai E&C and Holtec have pursued joint efforts to install SMR-160-centred ecosystems in more than 15 interested countries.
Holtec is considering deploying the first SMR-160 at Oyster Creek in New Jersey, where it is currently in the process of decommissioning a former boiling water reactor. Holtec has also said it aims to secure a US construction licence in 2025, and is "actively exploring the possibility" of deploying an SMR-160 at Oyster Creek NPP. which it acquired from Exelon in 2019 following the plant's closure, as well as at two other sites in the southern USA.
In addition, the two companies are co-operating in the field of nuclear decommissioning. Hyundai E&C employees have been dispatched to the Indian Point NPP in the US to support the entire decommissioning process, including nuclear reactor segmentation and used nuclear fuel handling and management.
President and CEO of Hyundai E&C Young-Joon Yoon said: “By accelerating completion of the SMR-160 development programme, we have further strengthened our cooperative relationship with Holtec paving the way for a wide array of collaborations. As a power plant project developer, Hyundai E&C has taken a giant step toward becoming a total solution provider for clean energy at all stages – from business discovery, planning, and development, to construction, including future new technology development. By entering the nuclear decommissioning market, we will be reborn as a ‘Total Solution Creator’ for the entire nuclear power plant life cycle including design, construction, spent nuclear fuel management and decommissioning.”
Holtec International President and CEO Dr Kris Singh said: “We will be able to supply carbon-free energy worldwide with our SMR-160 advanced reactor, our green boiler and our nascent high energy solar concentrator facility to help combat global climate change while realising a shared business success with our valued partner, Hyundai E&C.”
Image: Holtec's Kris Singh (left) and Hyundai E&C's Young-Joon Yoon at the signing of the agreement (courtesy of Holtec)