NuScale Power and Prodigy Clean Energy Ltd have announced a new conceptual design for a transportable and marine-based small modular reactor (SMR) power generating facility that provides dramatically improved transportability, manufacturability, economics, safety, and security. The updated concept will be used for engagements with utilities, regulators, and shipyard manufacturers.
Prodigy is a Canadian company specialising in the development of Transportable Nuclear Power Plants (TNPPs). NuScale and Prodigy have been collaborating since 2018 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at bringing a competitive North American SMR marine facility to market – a product that can generate safe, affordable, and reliable electricity at grid-scale at any coastal location worldwide..
Similar to the terrestrial NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant, Prodigy’s SMR Marine Power Station (MPS) is scalable, being able to house from 1 to as many as 12 NuScale Power Modules (NPM) for a total output of 924MWe. After transport to the deployment location, the marine facility would be fixed in place within a protected harbour and connected to shoreside transmission and process heat systems. Nuclear fuel would be loaded in the NPMs as the last step of the commissioning process before beginning power generation. Operations, security, and fuel handling protocols are equivalent to those used for a traditional nuclear power plant under existing nuclear regulations. At the end of its life, the marine facility would be transported to a marine-accessible centre for decommissioning.
The manufacturing and outfitting of the entire marine facility would take place in a shipyard, enabling expedited delivery. Further advantages include a significantly reduced capital expenditure; accelerated project schedule; minimised site preparation; reduced environmental impact; unlocked project financing structures that are not typically available to conventional site-constructed nuclear plants; and simplified and expedited decommissioning and site recovery. The marine facility’s design is standardised to allow for deployment at a wide variety of sites and for serial manufacturing.
A similar project, Russia’s Akademic Lomonosov, which uses icebreaker reactors, has been supplying power and heat to the Arctic town of Pevek in Chukotka since 2020. Upgraded versions are now being constructed for other sites along Russia’s Arctic coast.
Image: Conceptual layout and deployment of a Prodigy SMR Marine Power Station integrating 12 NuScale Power Modules (courtesy of NuScale)