NuScale Wins U.S. DOE Funding for Its SMR Technology

NuScale Power has been selected as the winner of the second round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) competitively-bid, cost-sharing program to develop nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology. As part of the award, NuScale will receive funding that will support the accelerated development of its NuScale Power Module™ SMR technology. DOE’s formal announcement about the selection was made on December 12, 2013 in Washington, D.C. NuScale and DOE will now move to negotiate a cooperative agreement that formalizes the public-private relationship and establishes milestones for the five-year funding program.

In March 2013, DOE issued the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to provide support for SMR development, and move design certification forward to assist with commercialization. DOE’s FOA criteria focused on technologies that are unique and have innovative features that maximize resistance to hazards presented by natural phenomena. These features incorporate diverse and redundant safety systems including designed capabilities that aid in managing the consequences of severe accidents similar to the Fukushima events.

An independent team of industry experts convened by DOE conducted a rigorous evaluation of multiple SMR technologies before selecting NuScale Power for this award. NuScale will be required to match the Federal funds, which it will use to design, engineer, test, and pursue U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission design certification of its technology.

As the only U.S.-based company established solely for the commercialization of its SMR, NuScale Power has developed a unique and proprietary break-through technology for an innovative, simple, safe, economic and scalable small modular reactor. Natural forces of physics—gravity, convection, and conduction—are used for normal operations and safe shutdown. This eliminates many of the large and complex systems (e.g., pumps, motors, valves, piping) found in today’s nuclear power plants and other SMR designs. As a result, the NuScale plant is safe, simpler, and less expensive to build and operate. At 45 megawatts per module, the NuScale SMR design is attractive to markets that no other LWR SMR design can reach. A NuScale power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale Power Modules™ to produce as much as 540 MW.

The NuScale design was initially developed in 2000 and has been demonstrated and in testing programs since 2003 in a fully-instrumented one-third scale electrically-heated test facility in Corvallis, OR. In addition, NuScale commissioned a full-scale multi-module control-room simulator in May of 2012. Both facilities were U.S. SMR industry firsts.

Related Links:

DOE: Small Modular Nuclear Reactors
Energy Department Announcement
NuScale Press Release