The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed the Phase 6 review—the last and final phase—of the Design Certification Application (DCA) for NuScale Power’s small modular reactor (SMR) and issued the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER). The FSER represents completion of the technical review and approval of the NuScale SMR design.
With this final phase of NuScale’s DCA now complete, customers can proceed with plans to develop NuScale power plants with the understanding that the NRC has approved the safety aspects of the NuScale design.
This is a significant milestone not only for NuScale, but also for the entire US nuclear sector and the other advanced nuclear technologies that will follow. This clearly establishes the leadership of NuScale and the US in the race to bring SMRs to market. The approval of NuScale’s design is an incredible accomplishment and we would like to extend our deepest thanks to the NRC for their comprehensive review, to the US Department of Energy (DOE) for its continued commitment to our successful private-public partnership to bring the country’s first SMR to market, and to the many other individuals who have dedicated countless hours to make this extraordinary moment a reality.
Additionally, the cost-shared funding provided by Congress over the past several years has accelerated NuScale’s advancement through the NRC Design Certification process. This is what DOE’s SMR Program was created to do, and our success is credited to strong bipartisan support from Congress.—NuScale Chairman and CEO John Hopkins
NuScale’s DCA was completed in December 2016 and accepted by the NRC in March 2017. The review process demonstrated both the simplicity of NuScale’s SMR design and the thoroughness of the company’s application.
As an example, during the rigorous Phase 1 review process, which included 115,000 hours spent reviewing the DCA, the NRC issued far fewer requests for additional information compared to other design certification applications.
NuScale spent more than $500 million, with the backing of Fluor, and more than 2 million labor hours to develop the information needed to prepare its DCA application. The company also submitted 14 separate Topical Reports in addition to the over 12,000 pages for its DCA application and provided more than 2 million pages of supporting information for NRC audits.
The NRC embraced the challenge of reviewing the first-ever small modular reactor DCA, which at the time not only marked an important milestone for NuScale, but also for the nuclear industry as a whole. NuScale appreciates the dedication, time, and effort of the NRC throughout this multi-year process, often with reviews completing ahead of schedule. As a long-time former NRC employee, including as an executive in the Office of New Reactors, I can say that this early issuance of the FSER is truly a credit to everyone at the NRC—including technical review and project staff, management, and the Commission.—NuScale Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Tom Bergman
NuScale continues to maintain strong program momentum toward commercialization of its SMR technology, including supply chain development, standard plant design, planning of plant delivery activities, and startup and commissioning plans.
NuScale has signed agreements with entities in the US, Canada, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Jordan. Similar agreements with other entities are being negotiated.
NuScale Power has developed a new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant to supply energy for electrical generation, district heating, desalination, and other process heat applications. This small modular reactor (SMR) design features a fully factory-fabricated NuScale Power Module capable of generating 60 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology.
NuScale’s scalable design—a power plant can house up to 12 individual power modules—offers the benefits of carbon-free energy and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power.