NuScale, Prodigy and Kinectrics to propose regulatory framework for marine-deployed SMR

19 November 2021

US-based NuScale Power announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Prodigy Clean Energy and Kinectrics to explore and inform the development of a regulatory framework to address licensing and deployment of a Prodigy Marine Power Station (MPS).

The MPS, which would integrate 1-12 NuScale Power Modules (NPMs) into a marine-based NPP system, presents a rapidly-deployed, carbon-free baseload energy generation solution to replace fossil fuel power plants globally. This MOU builds upon the existing partnership between NuScale and Prodigy, representing a critical step towards the commercialisation of this technology, as statement said. 

Through this agreement, the three companies will produce technical specifications and a regulatory considerations document on the MPS that will be used to engage regulators and potential customers. The benefits of using Prodigy’s marine power plant system to deploy the NuScale Small Modular Reactor (SMR) include significantly reduced capital costs, reduced environmental impact, and expedited project delivery schedule when compared with traditional land-based nuclear projects. The MPS would generate scalable and reliable electricity and heat with zero greenhouse gas emissions for on-grid and off-grid locations, at dramatically reduced cost and schedule risk.

NuScale, Prodigy and Kinectrics will work together to evaluate commercial deployment opportunities where the MPS could be deployed either as the sole power source, coupled with renewables, or used to generate clean fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia, economically and at commercial scale. 

“This engagement with Prodigy and Kinectrics is an exciting opportunity for NuScale to build on our momentum and work with industry-leading companies. Together, we are pursuing new avenues to deploy the NuScale SMR globally,” said John Hopkins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale Power. “Work accomplished within this MOU will expand opportunities for nuclear energy generation, helping to achieve the carbon-free, sustainable energy future that we are all working toward.”

Prodigy is Canada’s first commercial marine nuclear power developer, specialising in integrating existing power reactors into stationary-deployed marine power plant structures. The MPS would be shipyard-fabricated, and marine-transported to its deployment location, where it would be moored in place in sheltered and protected waters at the shoreline. Powered by the NuScale SMR, Prodigy’s MPS is an affordable solution to supply coastal cities, communities and industrial zones, as well as island nations, with clean, reliable and sustainable energy.

“Prodigy is beginning engagement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and is in the process of proposing pre-licensing activities for our transportable and marine-deployed nuclear power plant systems," said Mathias Trojer, President and CEO of Prodigy. "This is a first-of-its-kind regulatory exercise in North America, and we are privileged to have support from NuScale and Kinectrics as part of this effort."

He added: “We anticipate that regulations and policies developed in Canada could help to provide a starting point to engage the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as sovereign regulators in global jurisdictions for technology export.”

To support the collaboration, Kinectrics will bring expertise in nuclear licensing and regulatory affairs, nuclear equipment qualification, environmental analysis, safety analysis, materials evaluation, structural analysis, and shoreside transmission and distribution infrastructure design and construction, to the Prodigy and NuScale team.

“We are thrilled to support the Prodigy and NuScale programme. Prodigy’s marine nuclear power plant systems could be a potentially transformative opportunity for the energy industry — the MPS could allow for new nuclear builds in global locations where traditional land-based nuclear projects are either technically or economically infeasible. Kinectrics has extensive expertise developing novel licensing approaches, and we look forward to working with NuScale and Prodigy to advance the development and deployment of their combined technologies,” said David Harris, President and CEO of Kinectrics.

In August 2020, NuScale became the first ever and only SMR to receive US Nuclear Regulatory Commission design approval. NuScale is in the CNSC’s Vendor Design Review (VDR) process and has been continuing to engage with Canadian regulators, governments, suppliers, and prospective clients, including Ontario Power Generation, as it works to deliver its design and supply chain leading technology to North America and the world.

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