Program Development Update

NuScale SMR Makes History with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Design Approval

On August 28, 2020 NuScale Power announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed Phase 6 review—the last and final phase—of the Design Certification Application (DCA) for the company’s groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) with the issuance of Standard Design Approval and the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER). The FSER represents completion of the technical review and approval of the NuScale SMR design. With this final phase of NuScale’s DCA review process now complete, customers can proceed with plans to develop NuScale power plants with the understanding that the NRC has approved the safety aspects of the NuScale design.

This accomplishment marks a significant milestone not only for NuScale, but also for the entire U.S. nuclear sector and the other advanced nuclear technologies that will follow. This clearly establishes the leadership of NuScale and the U.S. in the race to bring SMRs to market. NuScale’s successful cost-shared, private-public partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) brought this extraordinary moment to pass, while the Congressional appropriations over the past several years accelerated NuScale’s advancement through the NRC Design Certification process. NuScale also appreciates the dedication, time, and effort of the NRC throughout this multi-year process, often with reviews completing ahead of schedule. The NRC embraced the challenge of reviewing the first-ever small modular reactor DCA, which at the time not only marked an important milestone for NuScale, but also for the nuclear industry as a whole.

NuScale’s DCA was completed in December 2016, submitted to the NRC in January, and accepted for review in March 2017. The review process demonstrated both the simplicity of NuScale’s SMR design and the thoroughness of the company’s application. As an example, during the rigorous Phase 1 review process, which included 115,000 NRC staff hours spent reviewing the DCA, the NRC issued far fewer requests for additional information compared to other design certification applications. NuScale spent over $500 million, with the backing of Fluor, and over 2 million labor hours to develop the information needed to prepare its DCA application. The company also submitted 14 separate Topical Reports in addition to the over 12,000 pages for its DCA application and provided more than 2 million pages of supporting information for NRC audits.

NuScale continues to maintain strong program momentum toward commercialization of its SMR technology, including supply chain development, standard plant design, planning of plant delivery activities, and startup and commissioning plans.