In May 2019, NuScale announced its plans to work with Enfission on the development of research and testing programs to explore the application of their nuclear fuel rod technology, which is well suited for the natural circulation design of the NuScale Power Module™. Enfission is a Virginia-based company and 50-50 joint venture between Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ: LTBR) and Framatome. They are developing and commercializing next generation nuclear fuel technology that will significantly improve the economics and safety of existing and new reactors.
While NuScale’s plant design is already the most resilient nuclear reactor in the world, Enfission’s Lightbridge Fuel™ is expected to enhance core design, performance, and levelized costs of electricity. Our collaboration with Enfission underscores NuScale’s commitment to working with U.S. companies as we expand our supply chain and ready for a 2027 deployment of the nation’s first small modular reactor (SMR) plant at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Sargent & Lundy
In May 2019, NuScale and Sargent & Lundy announced their strategic relationship to support deployment of NuScale power plants worldwide. Sargent & Lundy has made a cash investment in NuScale and is supporting our standard plant design.
Since 1954, nuclear power has been a core competency of Sargent & Lundy as evidenced by their capability in engineering, design, analysis, compliance, and project management. They are known as the “Engineer of Choice” at 79 of the 98 operating nuclear units in the U.S. and regularly provide engineering services to nearly all domestic nuclear units. NuScale is thrilled to have Sargent & Lundy’s expertise as we work to bring America’s first SMR to market.
NuScale Energy Exploration Center
In August 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded three grants to support the installation of a NuScale power plant control room simulator at three universities: Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Idaho. The purpose of the simulator facilities is to provide research, education, and public outreach opportunities that promote learning about SMR technology and nuclear power.
The NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center at Oregon State University (OSU) is the first of the three facilities. It is an innovative learning environment that offers visitors an exciting hands-on opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated, real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios.
The E2 Center employs state-of-the-art computer modeling that allows visitors to take on the role of “control room operator” at a NuScale 12-unit SMR power plant and learn about the groundbreaking features and functionality of NuScale’s SMR technology. NuScale’s Simulator Development Team built a custom human system interface (HSI) that provides controls and indications between the models and the user; allowing the user to manipulate the controls of the plant that are expected to be manipulated by the control room.
The simulator will facilitate research into human factors engineering, human-system interface design, advanced diagnostics, cyber security, and plant control room automation. Several innovative features are incorporated into the E2 Center simulator that are unique to NuScale’s power plant control room design, such as:
- Process Library: a library of computer-based procedures and automations to ensure that operators are performing the correct actions on the correct unit.
- Tiered Notification System: a system that informs operators of abnormal conditions and provides alarms, cautions, and notices.
- Fully Automated Systems: using automated sequences, operators can elect to change power, change electrical output, and control selected equipment.
- Integrated Emergency Procedures: a display that graphically informs the operator of the condition of the reactor safety functions and also links to applicable procedures.
The E2 Center will support a broader understanding of advanced nuclear technology in a control room setting and yield significant opportunities for students, researchers, operators, and members of the public to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) research and education. The E2 Center will also provide a platform for communicating the importance carbon-free nuclear power for attaining a safe, clean, and secure energy future for the U.S. and the world.