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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.



This should be aimed at 2017, not 2022.

How much of that time is paperwork required by rabid anti-nukes like Jazcko?


Tons of paperwork. TONS. Though I'm glad that the U.S. is thorough when it comes to licensing and inspecting its nuclear facilities.


A Missouri governor decided all State computer programmers should be supervised by his Office of Administration, besides their department supervisors.


Whether one believes "in God we trust" or not "No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."


Given a choice between careful paperwork and doing something about the climate and other coal emissions soon enough to make a difference, at this point I'll vote for cutting back on the paperwork.  "More is always better" is a fallacy.


Please do not watch the 2nd lowest paid US state workers and a later brilliant senator, presently filibustering student loans, "rapid license and deploy" nuclear reactors about the center of the nation


Assemble my prior three posts and look up hours of censored.


And who will supervise and audit the Office of Administration to make sure that information is not sold to speculators and lobbies?


Audit.. see movie "The Dictator"

Kit P

How much time does it take? It is 2012 and Westinghouse and others have design concepts they are pitching to the DOE to get a grant to pay 50% of the cost of developing a 'concept' into a preliminary design. That should take a year, DOE is not know for being fast. That takes us to 2013.

After DOE decides to give out the money, it will take take two years to submit the DC FSAR. That takes us to 2015.

Then the NRC takes their turn which will take three years. Jazcko has no power hold it up since he is only one vote. The last two COLs approved have been votes 4-1. By 2018 Japan issues should have been resolved so he will have to think of another reason to vote no.

Assuming the utilities fund detailed engineering during the DC process and long lead time components are ordered. A small reactor could be operating by 2022.

In the good old days, we did the paper work of detailed design at the same time as construction. Cement was being poured for the foundations while the drawing for the second floor were being made. Some nuke plants went from contract to making power in 5 years. Some plants went from being 100% built to getting a permit to make power in 5 years. One plant that was completely build never produced power because they did such a bad job of keeping records, that it could not get a license. They build a coal boiler next to it and turned in a coal power plant.

So what will we know by 2018? The cost and schedule for building new reactors because that process started 10 years before. So if the purpose is to resolve the uncertainty in the cost of new reactors, why not build a really big one?

So E-P the schedule for small reactors looks reasonable and the NRC will not hold up anything.

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