Most of the growth in the nuclear industry today is happening in markets like China, India, and the Middle East where the government has more direct control over economic and energy development decisions.
NuScale’s innovative design for the small modular reactor (SMR) has catapulted the Oregon company into global leadership in the SMR marketplace. The widely acknowledged superiority of its technology puts NuScale in position to compete with more heavily state-sponsored designs from China, Russia, and other nations.
Several design elements give it strong advantages. To name a few:
- A NuScale plant can start up without external grid connections, making it a “first responder” upon restoration of the transmission system. No currently operating nuclear plant in the world has that capability.
- A single NuScale module generating 60 megawatts can supply all the electricity for the plant itself (the “house load”) without an external grid connection while also continuing to supply power via a micro grid to mission-critical applications.
- A NuScale plant does not require AC or DC electric power, operator or computer-controlled actions or additional water to self-cool in the event of a total loss of power to the station. We refer to this capability as the Triple Crown for Nuclear Plant Safety™.
- It is virtually invulnerable for transportation infrastructure breakdowns since, for example, a 12-module NuScale plant can provide 100 megawatts of electricity for 12 years to the micro-grid of a mission-critical facility without needing any new fuel brought to the site.
- The NuScale reactor modules and fuel pools are installed below grade in a building rated as a Seismic Category 1 structure, which means it can withstand a Fukushima-type earthquake.
Especially in America and Europe, where electricity demand is growing slowly, Magwood observed rising interest in small, flexible reactors, although in fast-growing markets like China, large nuclear plants may make more economic sense.