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First U.S. SMR regulatory application builds case for future NuScale deployment in UK

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In a major step toward the deployment of the next generation of advanced nuclear technology, NuScale Power asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on December 31st, 2016 to approve the company’s small modular reactor (SMR) commercial power plant design.

This is the first-ever SMR design certification application (DCA) to be submitted to the NRC and marks a significant milestone for NuScale and the power generation industry. NuScale SMRs will supply affordable, clean, reliable power in scalable plants whose facility output can be incrementally increased depending on demand. Its significant operational flexibility is also complementary to other zero-carbon sources like wind and solar.

Once approved, global demand for NuScale plants will create thousands of jobs during manufacturing, construction and operation, including in the UK where the company is one of the leading contenders in the Government’s SMR Competition and where the experience of submitting a DCA to the NRC will inform the company’s approach to the Generic Design Assessment process carried out by the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation. NuScale is partnering with British-based firms who will provide the vast majority of content for UK deployment and export to the rest of Europe.

NuScale CEO John Hopkins said:

“The world’s demand for electricity and clean water will increase significantly over the next several decades. Our technology can meet that challenge with clean and reliable power, improving the environment and the quality of life for humankind.”

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.

“We reached this tremendous milestone through the efforts of more than 700 people over eight years,” said NuScale COO and CNO Dale Atkinson.

“We have documented, in extensive detail, the design conceived by Dr. Jose Reyes more than a decade ago. We are confident that we have submitted a comprehensive and quality application, and we look forward to working with the NRC during its review.”

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.

UAMPS CEO Doug Hunter stated:

“We are delighted that our friends at NuScale have completed this step, which is key to our project licensing and our target commercial operation date of 2026 for the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project.”

As U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz has previously said:

“Small modular reactors represent a new generation of safe, reliable, low-carbon nuclear energy technology and provide a strong opportunity for America to lead this emerging global industry.”

As the sole winner of the second round of the DOE’s competitively-bid cost-sharing programme 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,” said Dr. Reyes.

Conservative estimates predict approximately 55-75 GW of global electricity will come from SMRs by 2035, equivalent to over 1,000 NuScale Power Modules.

Source: The NIA