NuScale Power formally announced the submittal of a Design Certification Application (DCA) for their innovative small modular reactor (SMR) design (earlier post) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for their review and approval. This is the first SMR DCA to be submitted to the NRC and marks a significant milestone for NuScale and the power generation industry.
NuScale’s application consisted of nearly 12,000 pages of technical information. The NRC is expected to take the next two months to determine if any additional information is required prior to commencing their review. Thereafter, the NRC has targeted completing the certification process within 40 months.
Once approved, the certified NuScale SMR will be available to domestic and international customers to be licensed for construction and operation.
The first commercial 12-module NuScale power plant is planned to be built on the site of the Idaho National Laboratory. It will be owned by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and run by an experienced nuclear operator, Energy Northwest.
As the sole winner of the second round of the DOE’s competitively-bid cost-sharing program for SMR technology development, NuScale is the only SMR developer currently receiving DOE financial support.
Without the leadership, vision and support of the U.S. DOE, our technology design, development, testing and license application could not have proceeded to this point.—Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Jose Reyes
Estimates predict approximately 55-75 GW of global electricity will come from SMRs by 2035, equivalent to more than 1,000 NuScale Power Modules.
The fully factory-fabricated NuScale Power Module is an integral reactor vessel surrounded by a high pressure steel containment, which when coupled to its factory-fabricated power generation equipment can produce 50 megawatts of electricity.
A NuScale power plant can house up to 12 of these modules for a total facility output of 600 megawatts (gross). The scalability afforded by the modular design allows customers to incrementally increase facility output to match demand.
The NuScale Power Module is premised on well-established nuclear technology principles with a focus on integration of components, simplification or elimination of systems, and use of passive safety features resulting in highly reliable operation underpinned by an extremely strong safety case and unparalleled asset protection, making it suitable to be sited at locations closer to where electricity or process heat are needed.
The technology’s operational flexibility can also be integrated with other carbon-free renewable energy sources like wind and solar to provide consistent power and to help enable stable grid performance.