In designing the NuScale Power Module and power plant, NuScale achieved a paradigm shift in the level of safety of a nuclear power plant facility. Comprehensive safety features were incorporated to provide stable long-term nuclear core cooling under all conditions, including severe accidents. These safety features include:
- High-pressure containment vessel, redundant passive decay heat removal, and containment heat removal systems.
- Natural circulation for emergency cooling, decay heat removal, and containment cooling, eliminating the need for primary pipes and pumps and hazards from any associated failures.
- No need for emergency power either on site or off site to ensure safe shutdown and indefinite cooling of the reactor.
- Long term cooling without operator action for an indefinite period of time following an accident.
- Submerged containment vessel capable of withstanding both seismic forces and pressure transients produced by a complete and simultaneous rupture of any or all of the reactor piping internal to containment.
- A small nuclear fuel inventory, since each 45 MWe NuScale Power Module houses approximately 5% of the nuclear fuel of a conventional 1,000 MWe nuclear reactor.
- A reactor pool that serves as an “in-situ” ultimate heat sink for core cooling housed in a Seismic Category 1 reactor building.
- Smaller and simpler emergency plan without reducing public safety, with an emphasis on protective actions close to the site, avoiding the impact of an unnecessary evacuation, and minimizing the complexity and cost of emergency plan maintenance for local emergency management around the site.
Reactor Buildings & Barriers
The reactor building is a Seismic Category 1 reinforced concrete structure designed to withstand the effects of aircraft impact, environmental conditions, natural phenomena, postulated design basis accidents, and design basis threats.
Each NuScale Power Module incorporates simple, redundant, diverse, and independent safety features.
Spent Fuel Pool
The spent fuel pool provides storage space for up to 15 years of accumulated spent fuel assemblies, plus temporary storage for new fuel assemblies.