US NRC completes third stage of NuScale SMR review

23 July 2019

NuScale SMR (Credit: NuScale Power)NuScale Power said on 22 July that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission had completed the second and third phases of review of its small modular reactor design six weeks ahead of schedule.

NuScale said this “marks a significant milestone in the company’s timeline to commercialise its technology”.  NRC remains on track to complete its review of NuScale’s design by September 2020. The company’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, is planning a 12-module SMR plant in Idaho slated for operation by the mid-2020s based on this certified design. “Completing Phases 2 and 3 of the NRC’s design review certification process is a critical milestone for our company and the advanced nuclear industry,” said John Hopkins, chairman and CEO of NuScale. “We look forward to helping the NRC complete its review and bringing our first plant online at the Idaho National Laboratory in 2026.”

Phase 2 involves publication of the safety evaluation report (SER) with open items, while Phase 3 consists of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) review of both the staff’s SER with open items and NuScale’s Design Certification Application. The ACRS is an independent advisor to the NRC. The entire review is now in Phase 4.

NuScale has signed MOUs to explore the deployment of its technology in Canada, Jordan and Romania, and similar agreements are being discussed with other potential customers. In anticipation of the initial plant deployment, NuScale said it had taken steps to build out its supply chain by signing preliminary agreements with companies that will offer technical expertise and will manufacture various reactor components. The most recent of these include Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, and Sargent and Lundy.

NuScale Power is developing a modular light water reactor to supply energy for electricity generation, district heating, desalination, and other process heat applications. The design features a fully factory-fabricated 60MWe NuScale Power Module using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurised water reactor technology. The scalable design can house up to 12 individual power modules. The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation.

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