History of NuScale Power Technology
Starting in 2000, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded research for the development of a small nuclear power plant that might be used in multiple applications. Idaho National Environment & Engineering Laboratory (INEEL) led the project with support from Oregon State University (OSU). At the same time, OSU was gaining international recognition for its work in the development of passive safety systems that use natural circulation to provide cooling for nuclear plants. OSU built and operated 1000 MW and 600 MW nuclear steam supply system scale models to help the developer obtain United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Design Certification (DC) for those technologies.
When the DOE research project concluded in 2003, OSU scientists continued to pursue the design of a small nuclear plant that used natural circulation. Ultimately, the team at OSU built a one-third scale electrically-heated version of their plant as a test facility for this design. OSU granted NuScale Power exclusive rights to the nuclear power plant design, as well as the continued use of the test facility, through a technology transfer agreement completed in 2007.
NuScale notified the NRC in February 2008 of its intent to pursue DC for its technology. The company is in the pre-application review phase with the NRC. Many of the leading consultants in the nuclear industry have joined with NuScale to commercialize this technology. NuScale is designing a 50 MWe (gross) module that can be operated either independently or as one module in a multi-module facility.
In 2011, Fluor Corporation became the primary investor in NuScale with the intent to leverage its global engineering, fabrication, procurement, and construction capabilities, along with its global sources and established supply chain, to support the commercialization of the NuScale design.
In July 2013 NuScale announced the Western Initiative for Nuclear (Program WIN). Program WIN is a broad, multi-western state collaboration to study the demonstration and deployment of a series of multi-module NuScale Small Modular Reactor (SMR) plants in western states.
In August 2013, NuScale announced that Rolls-Royce had joined Fluor Corporation in backing NuScale’s bid to commercialize small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear technology globally. The addition of Rolls-Royce’s world class manufacturing capability brought a wealth of experience in the development, production, and maintenance of advanced nuclear technologies across global markets. Rolls-Royce is assisting NuScale with several areas of the SMR design with a special emphasis on manufacturability.
In December 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy announced their selection of NuScale Power to receive up to $217M of matching funds to support the further development of the design and to secure a Design Certification from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The DOE Award was executed on May 27, 2014. This public-private partnership will help to accelerate the completion of the design, licensing, first-of-a-kind engineering, and testing, which will enable potential deployment of the first plant by late 2023.
In March 2014, NuScale Power LLC and Enercon Services Inc. (ENERCON) announced a new strategic partnership between the firms to support deployment of the NuScale Power Small Modular Reactor fleet worldwide. ENERCON provides engineering support to approximately 90% of the nuclear power plants operating in the United States and is also a leader in supporting deployment of new nuclear power plants. ENERCON will utilize its licensing expertise to support the development of the Design Certification Application.
In February 2015, NuScale Power announced that it successfully installed a full-length helical coil steam generator (HCSG) at the SIET S.p.A. (SIET) facilities in Piacenza, Italy. The NuScale design includes a first-of-a-kind HCSG for conversion of nuclear heat into process steam. That same month, NuScale Power and AREVA entered into an agreement for the performance of fuel design, testing and analysis services in support of NuScale’s Design Certification Application, using AREVA’s proven HTPTM fuel technology.
In March 2015, fabrication and assembly of a full-scale, upper module mockup of the NuScale Power Module was completed. The availability of a full-scale mockup with accurately sized and located components gives NuScale’s engineers important insights into the inspection and maintenance activities that are essential to plant operation.
In April 2015, NuScale launched its NuScale Diverse Energy Platform (NuDEP) highlighting its small modular reactor technology as the nuclear “plug-n-play” solution for providing reliable power to diverse applications.
In June 2015, responding to the President’s call to action to expand private sector investment in solutions to climate change, NuScale Power’s CEO John Hopkins participated in the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit at the White House.
In August 2015, NuScale Power hosted over 230 attendees at its NuScale Exposition (NuEx) in Corvallis, Oregon. A notable list of speakers, including government officials, industry representatives, and non-governmental organizations, emphasized the important environmental and economic benefits of NuScale’s baseload, carbon-free SMR technology.
In October 2015, NuScale Power and Ultra Electronics announced a new strategic partnership to support deployment of the NuScale Power Small Modular Reactor (SMR) fleet worldwide. The agreement brings Ultra Electronics’ expertise in reactor protection system design, nucleonic instrumentation, nuclear qualified sensors and associated in-core, specialty cabling to the NuScale design team.
In December 2015, NuScale Power and AREVA Inc. announced a contract for AREVA to manufacture fuel assemblies for NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology. Under the agreement, AREVA will supply the initial cores for the reactors as well as subsequent reloads.