US-based NuScale Power announced on 30 August that it had selected Rock Creek Innovations (RCI) to perform the final design work for its Highly Integrated Protection System (HIPS) platform. The HIPS platform is a protection system architecture jointly developed by Rock Creek Innovations and NuScale Power. The HIPS platform is an integral part of NuScale’s instrumentation and control system, which provides a robust safety platform to monitor the NuScale Power Module (NPM) and protects NuScale Power plants from potential cybersecurity attacks. The HIPS platform is a modular, scalable architecture that combines the best aspects of analog and digital technologies, and results in a simple robust protection system.

Rock Creek Innovations is a US-based technology and innovation company focused on developing safety critical systems. RCI specialises in nuclear safety-related instrumentation and control systems, including Reactor Protection Systems, Engineered Safety Features Actuation Systems, and Load Shed and Emergency Load Sequencers. NuScale has partnered with RCI since 2010 and jointly developed the HIPS platform that was submitted to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and quickly approved as part of NuScale’s Design Certification Application, and further speaks to NuScale’s commitment to maintaining a US-centred manufacturing and supply chain.

“Monitoring the condition of the NuScale Power module while maintaining isolation from cybersecurity threats is a top priority for NuScale, and we’ve made a concerted effort to build top-of-the-line platforms such as the HIPS to protect our groundbreaking small modular reactor,” said John Hopkins, NuScale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As partners for over a decade, NuScale is delighted to continue our work with Rock Creek Innovations on this critical component of NuScale’s plant operations.”

The jointly developed HIPS platform is being applied to another industry – RCI has utilized the HIPS platform for SHINE Medical Technologies protection system. SHINE Medical Technologies is currently building a medical isotope production and processing facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. The HIPS platform-based protection system equipment, designed by Rock Creek Innovations, has completed testing and qualification, and production units are currently being manufactured.

“Rock Creek Innovations is excited to continue our work with NuScale to bring this groundbreaking technology into the Small Modular Reactor industry. The simple and robust HIPS platform design truly complements the simple and safe NuScale design,” said Gregg Clarkson, President, Rock Creek Innovations.

In August 2020, NuScale made history as the first SMR to receive design approval from NRC and in July of 2021, the Commission published the proposed rule that would certify the NuScale design – a crucial step towards the construction and deployment of this SMR technology. The company maintains strong programme momentum toward commercialisation of its SMR technology, including supply chain development, standard plant design, planning of plant delivery activities, and startup and commissioning plans.

Photo: Rock Creek Innovations (RCI) is a technology innovation company focused on safety critical applications.