US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) on 29 July signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea's Hyundai Engineering (HEC) and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) for co-operation in the development of USNC’s Micro Modular Reactor (MMR).
The 15 MWt/5 MWe high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), comprises a nuclear plant that generates heat, and an adjacent power plant that converts heat into electricity or provides process heat for industrial applications. The MMR uses fuel in prismatic graphite blocks and has a sealed transportable core.
Cooperation will focus on development and deployment of HTGR technology for supplying power as well as process-heat production, critical to the operations of industrial processing plants); and, development and deployment of a very-high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (VHTR) system for production of hydrogen for use in fuel cells.
Last month, a joint venture was formed between USNC and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to build, own and operate the proposed MMR project at the Chalk River Laboratories site. The joint venture - the Global First Power Limited Partnership - is owned equally by OPG and USNC-Power, the Canadian subsidiary of USNC.
The reactor completed the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission pre-licensing vendor design review process in January 2019. The MMR project is in the third stage of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' four-stage process to site a demonstration small modular reactor (SMR) at Chalk River Laboratories. The MMR project is undergoing environmental assessment.