Westinghouse forms SMR alliance with utilities

21 May 2012

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with a dozen utilities to support the deployment of the 225 MW Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR). The group, known as the NexStart SMR Alliance, includes major utilities Ameren, Exelon, Dominion Virginia Power and FirstEnergy.

The partnership is collaborating on a strategy for the Callaway reactor to commence operation by 2022, according to John Goossen, Westinghouse vice president of Innovation and SMR Development. Westinghouse and the Alliance members are also in discussions with other utilities and enterprises in order to support the potential deployment of the Westinghouse SMR at Ameren's Callaway Energy Center in central Missouri.

Two new members joined the NexStart alliance on 21 May: Burns & McDonnell and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The alliance will support Westinghouse in its application to secure Department of Energy SMR investment funds potentially worth up to $900 million over five years; at least 50% must be provided by private industry. The investment fund application was submitted to the DOE on 18 May, and its final decision is expected in late summer of 2012.

NuScale Power LLC has also announced the submission of a proposal to participate in the DOE SMR programme. Both Holtec International and Babcock & Wilcox have previously expressed intentions to apply for the DOE funding, although at the time of writing neither company had confirmed submission of application documents to DOE.

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