NuScale Power announced that through further value engineering efforts, using advanced testing and modeling tools, NuScale analyzed and concluded that the NuScale Power Module (NPM) can generate an additional 25% more power per module for a total of 77 MWe per module (gross), resulting in about 924 MWe for the flagship 12-module power plant.
Additionally, NuScale is announcing options for smaller power plant solutions in four-module (about 308 MWe) and six-module (about 462 MWe) sizes.
Increasing the power generating capacity of a 12-module NuScale small modular reactor (SMR) plant by an additional 25% lowers the overnight capital cost of the facility on a per kilowatt basis from an expected $3,600 to approximately $2,850. Furthermore, the scalable, 12-module power plant will now approach a size that makes it a true competitor for the gigawatt-size market. The increased power output comes without any major changes to the NPM technology.
The smaller power plant solutions will give NuScale customers more options in terms of size, power output, operational flexibility and cost. They will also have a smaller and innovative footprint with a focus on simplifying construction, reducing construction duration (schedule) and lowering costs.
This new solution allows NuScale to support a larger cross-section of customer needs including power for small grids such as for island nations; remote off-grid communities; industrial and government facilities; and coal power replacements that require less power and help customers meet clean air mandates.
The regulatory process of increasing the level of maximum reactor power at which a nuclear plant can operate is referred to as a power uprate. The power increase will be reviewed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission as part of NuScale’s Standard Design Approval (SDA) application, which NuScale is scheduled to submit in 2022.
NuScale’s initial new products will be a four- and six-module power plant solution, although other configurations are possible. These smaller plant solutions are economically competitive and are underpinned by and leverage the NPM technology and safety case that has already been approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Like the flagship NuScale power plant, these smaller configurations will retain the capability to deliver scalable power plant solutions with features, capability and performance not found in other SMRs.
NuScale will be able to deliver its first module to a client in 2027.
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 77 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology.
Features of the NuScale Power Module include:
No AC or DC power for safe shutdown and cooling: The NuScale plant’s non-reliance on AC or DC power for safety has greatly simplified the electrical systems including a unique arrangement of battery arrays that increases DC power reliability for post-accident monitoring systems.
Helical Coil Steam Generators (HCSG): The use of compact HCSGs provides increased heat transfer surface area in a small volume with very low pressure drop to maximize natural circulation flow. The once-through counter-flow design enables the generation of steam superheat and good thermal efficiency without the use of reactor coolant pumps.
High strength steel containment immersed in the cooling pool: The NuScale containment acts as a heat exchanger to provide reactor cooling and pressure control, eliminating the requirement for containment spray systems for cooling.
Maintaining containment in a vacuum limits heat exchange during normal operation: The NuScale containment vacuum minimizes reactor vessel heat loss, limits oxygen content, and prevents component corrosion, eliminating the requirement for physical reactor vessel insulation and hydrogen recombiners.
Small, efficient core design limits source term: The NuScale reactor has 1/20 of the nuclear fuel of a large scale reactor. Its small decay heat, inherent stability, and reactor physics eliminates fuel damage in all design basis events including those with failure of all control rods to insert. For beyond design basis events, radiation from fuel damage is below safe limits at the plant site boundary.
Digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C): NuScale’s proprietary field programmable gate array digital I&C system provides comprehensive monitoring and control of all plant systems in a single control room. The control room layout and panels are being designed using a state-of-the-art simulator as part of a comprehensive human factors engineering and human system interface.
The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power.