Westinghouse and Ameren Missouri form NexStart SMR Alliance for rapid licensing and deployment of Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor technology; targeting operation in 2022
Westinghouse Electric Company and the Missouri Electric Alliance led by Ameren Missouri have formed a utility participation group called the NexStart SMR Alliance to advance deployment of the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR). (Earlier post.)
|Design overview of the Westinghouse SMR. Click to enlarge.
The Westinghouse SMR is a 225 MWe integral pressurized water reactor (PWR), with all primary components located inside of the reactor vessel. It utilizes passive safety systems and proven components, as well as modular construction techniques—all realized and already licensed in the AP1000 nuclear power plant design. Westinghouse believes that this proven approach will provide licensing, construction and operational certainty that no other SMR supplier can match with competitive economics.
The Alliance is a consortium of current and prospective nuclear plant owners and operators and includes cooperative, municipal and investor-owned electric service providers, as well as public enterprises to advance energy security.
The initial membership of the NexStart SMR Alliance includes Ameren Missouri; Exelon Generation Company; Dominion Virginia Power; FirstEnergy Generation; Tampa Electric Company; Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation; Savannah River National Laboratory; and members of the Missouri Alliance: Missouri Public Utility Alliance; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Inc.; The Empire District Electric Company; and Kansas City Power and Light Company.
Westinghouse and Alliance members are also in discussions with other utilities and enterprises considering NexStart SMR Alliance membership in order to support the potential deployment of a Westinghouse SMR at Ameren’s Callaway Energy Center in central Missouri.
The NexStart SMR Alliance will collaborate in supporting Westinghouse in its application to secure Department of Energy (DOE) SMR investment funds that will be awarded to promising SMR projects that have the potential to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and achieve commercial operation by 2022.
These cost-share agreements will span a five-year period and, subject to Congressional appropriations, provide a total investment of approximately $900 million, with at least 50% provided by private industry. The investment fund application will be submitted to the DOE by mid-May, and a final decision on awarding the investment funds by the DOE is expected in late summer of 2012.
John Goossen, Westinghouse vice president of Innovation and SMR Development and NexStart SMR Alliance co-chair, said the group is collaborating on a strategy that will lead to Design Certification (DC) for the Westinghouse SMR and the issuance of a combined construction and operating license (COL) for a Westinghouse SMR at Ameren Missouri’s Callaway Energy Center to commence operation by 2022.
The Westinghouse SMR is the company’s next product innovation building upon the concepts and advances in technology achieved in the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plant design, the only Generation III+ reactor to receive Design Certification from the US NRC, initially in 2006 and again in 2011. Currently, four AP1000 units are being built in China with the first unit expected to come online in 2013, and another four AP1000 units are being built in the United States, the first unit of which is expected to come online in 2016.
Westinghouse Electric Company is a group company of Toshiba Corporation. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants.