NuScale's Readiness: Tracking the Development and Features of the NuScale Power Module™
Every day at NuScale Power, we are working diligently to ‘check’ the next step to deploy our technology and the unique features and capabilities of the NuScale Power Module.
NuScale is Ready
- Design validated/approved by regulator
- Approved fuel and infrastructure
- Facilities to demonstrate technology
- Manufacturing trials of materials
- Unlimited coping period
For deployment, an SMR technology design needs to be approved by a regulator, an intensive process that can span multiple years. NuScale is the first and is the only SMR design to undergo design certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with design approval given in August 2020. This approval signaled that our technology is not only safe, but much farther along in terms of design and program development.
An SMR technology also needs an approved fuel design supported by an established supply chain that can provide the fuel in commercial quantities and in support of customer deployment dates. The NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) utilizes conventional light water reactor fuel with an enrichment level consistent with the fuel used by existing light water reactors in operation today. Fuel that is approved, proven and commercially available.
NuScale has invested more than $1.3B in technology development, which includes building state of the art facilities to validate the performance and safety of NuScale's technology. While many of our competition are still in the early stages of development, we are readying our technology for manufacture and construction. How are we doing that? One example is the manufacturing trials we’re conducting. We are putting real components through real testing to perfect manufacturing processes.
Manufacturing process development is critical to deploying NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology and represents an example of how NuScale is building out its supply chain through the advancement of manufacturing preparation and trials at vendor facilities across the United States and around the world.
One example is our partnership with BWXT with facilities in Lynchburg, VA and Cambridge, Ontario supporting the preparation for the fabrication of the NPM. NuScale engaged BWXT and their partners Precision Custom Components and Vigor in 2019 on an 18-month design for manufacturing contract for the NPM. We have contracted with Doosan Heavy Industries for the design for manufacturing scope for the NPM as well. NuScale is planning for the contract for manufacturing services related to the NPM to commence in 2022 and be able to deliver this equipment to support NuScale customer projects with commercial operation as early as 2028. Another collaboration is with Rock Creek Innovations (RCI). NuScale has partnered with RCI since 2010 and jointly developed the Highly Integrated Protection System (HIPS) platform that was submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and quickly approved as part of NuScale’s Design Certification Application, and further speaks to NuScale’s commitment to maintaining a U.S.-centered manufacturing and supply chain. The HIPS platform is an integral part of NuScale’s instrumentation and control system, which provides a robust safety platform to control and protect the NPM with the added benefit of being highly cybersecurity resilient. The HIPS platform is a modular, scalable architecture that combines the best aspects of analog and digital technologies, and results in a simple robust protection system. The simple and robust HIPS platform design truly complements the simple and safe NuScale design.
We’ve designed our SMR technology to be smarter and safer. NuScale’s innovative and unique SMR design has an unprecedented coping capability compared to other designs. We offer a fully passive safety system design, rigorously proven through the NuScale Triple Crown for Nuclear Plant Safety™, which ensures that reactors will safely shut down and self-cool, indefinitely, without operator or computer action, AC or DC power, or addition of water. This provides what is called an unlimited coping period—a first for light water reactor technology.
Lastly, NuScale’s SMR design offers scalable power based on need – an unprecedented capability in the nuclear energy industry. The result is a lower initial capital cost and the ability to economically add capacity later, a solution that can meet the needs of today’s customers and encourage the growth of carbon-free energy.
“NuScale’s technology is well beyond the conceptual phase of development, past detail design, and instead is readying its technology for manufacturing and construction of its first plant with features and capabilities that are unmatched, said John Hopkins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale Power. “With each step and feature that we check, these program accomplishments continue to give NuScale a leadership position in the development and deployment of advanced nuclear technology, providing NuScale a considerable first mover advantage in the marketplace and setting us apart from the competition.”