Westinghouse Electric Company launched its newest nuclear technology, the AP300 small modular reactor (SMR), a 300-MWe (900MWth) single-loop pressurized water reactor. The AP300 SMR design is scaled from the advanced, proven AP1000 reactor and is the only SMR truly based on an Nth-of-a-kind operating plant.
The AP300 SMR is an ultra-compact, modular-constructed unit that leverages the innovation and operational knowledge of the global AP1000 fleet. It will utilize identical AP1000 technology, to include major equipment, structural components, passive safety, proven fuel, and I&C systems. The AP300 will bring to bear a mature supply chain, constructability lessons learned, fast load-follow capabilities and proven O&M procedures and best practices from 18 reactor years of safe AP1000 operations.
The AP300 SMR can function as the backbone of a community clean energy system. Flexible performance provides a proven capability to stabilize modern renewable heavy electric grids, including fast load change capabilities to support variations in demand. Includes additional capability to support district heating, desalination and hydrogen production.
The Westinghouse-pioneered advanced passive safety system automatically achieves safe shutdown without operator action and eliminates the need for backup power and cooling supply. This also directly translates into a simplified design, lower CAPEX and smaller footprint. Like the AP1000, the AP300 is designed to operate for an 80+ year life cycle.
The AP300 SMR design utilizes Westinghouse’s proven Gen III+ advanced technology, which has regulatory approval in the US, Great Britain and China, as well as compliance with European Utility Requirements (EUR) standards for nuclear power plants. This brings licensing advantages and substantially reduces delivery risk for customers in the utility, oil & gas and industrial space. Design certification is anticipated by 2027, followed by site-specific licensing and construction on the first unit toward the end of the decade.
The AP300 SMR offers reliable, safe and clean electricity, as well as additional applications for district heating and water desalination. Its fast load-follow capabilities make it ideally suited for integration with renewable resources. It will also pave the way toward the hydrogen economy by enabling cost-effective, clean production of hydrogen integrated with the plant.
Westinghouse has named Dr. Rita Baranwal, currently Chief Technology Officer, to Senior Vice President in the Energy Systems business unit, to lead the team developing the AP300 SMR. Baranwal is the former Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy at the US Department of Energy (July 2019 - January 2021), with decades of experience in the nuclear energy field including as director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Lab.