Westinghouse has recently signed agreements with Canada’s Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and Penn State in the USA to promote its eVinci micro-reactor. Westinghouse Electric Canada on 18 May signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SRC to advance very small modular reactors (vSMRs), or micro-reactors, in Saskatchewan. Westinghouse and SRC will jointly develop a project to locate an eVinci micro-reactor in Saskatchewan for the development and testing of industrial, research, and energy use applications.
Westinghouse says the eVinci micro-reactor can support various applications including remote mining operations, remote communities, individual industrial heat and power scenarios, distributed hydrogen generation and integrated energy solutions. It can integrate with other renewable power sources, such as solar or wind power. It is also small enough for factory fabrication and truck transportation, meaning it can be built and implemented to support communities without access to reliable energy due to location or natural disaster. Its compact size minimises the physical footprint and allows for construction and installation in as few as 30 days.
"For 38 years, SRC was the licensed owner and operator of a SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear reactor, and we look forward to building on that experience with Westinghouse," Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said. "The hands-on experience SRC gained can be applied to emerging nuclear technology, such as SMRs as we consider how to best power our future."
Minister Responsible for SaskPower Don Morgan said. "The advancement of nuclear power in our province will not only modernise our power grid, but result in billions of dollars in additional economic activity."
The same day, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and Westinghouse signed a MOU detailing a partnership on research and development efforts focused on exploring and applying nuclear engineering and science innovations to societal needs. They will also begin discussions about siting Westinghouse’s eVinci micro-reactor at University Park.
The collaboration plans build on Penn State’s established nuclear capabilities — such as the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, the USA’s longest continuously operating research reactor, as well as multi- and interdisciplinary experts in power conversion systems, thermal hydraulics, detection and safeguards, high-temperature nuclear materials, advanced manufacturing, nuclear energy policy, nuclear safety, social adoption of technology and more.In addition to advancing the eVinci micro reactor for broad applications, the team plans to explore how the platform can contribute to displacing carbon-generating energy sources at Penn State.
Image: Westinghouse and SRC have signed an MOU to advance vSMRs, or micro-reactors, in Saskatchewan (courtesy of Westinghouse Electric Co)