Design Innovations

Advanced Nuclear Technology 

With the first ever small modular reactor (SMR) to receive U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) design approval, NuScale is bringing the first SMR power plant online in the U.S. this decade.

Our SMR technology, the NuScale Power Module™, can now generate 25 percent more power than originally planned at 77 megawatts of electricity (MWe), resulting in a total output of 924 MWe (gross) for our flagship 12-module NuScale power plant. We also offer smaller power plant solutions in 4-module (308 MWe) and 6-module (462 MWe) sizes that are underpinned by the rigorous safety case of our NRC-approved SMR design. With this new array of flexible power options, NuScale is poised to meet the diverse energy needs of customers across the world.

Features of the NuScale Power Module

  • No AC or DC power for safe shutdown and cooling: NuScale Power Modules can safely shut down and self-cool, indefinitely, with no need for AC or DC power, operator or computer action, or additional water. This provides what is called an “indefinite” coping period—a first for a commercial nuclear power plant technology.
  • Helical Coil Steam Generators (HCSG): The use of compact HCSGs provides increased heat transfer surface area in a small volume with very low pressure drop to maximize natural circulation flow. The once-through counter-flow design enables the generation of steam superheat and good thermal efficiency without the use of reactor coolant pumps.
  • High strength steel containment immersed in the cooling pool: The NuScale containment acts as a heat exchanger to provide reactor cooling and pressure control, eliminating the requirement for containment spray systems for cooling. The containment vessel is submerged in the reactor pool, which provides a passive heat sink for the containment heat removal under loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) conditions.
  • Maintaining containment in a vacuum limits heat exchange during normal operation: The NuScale containment vacuum minimizes reactor vessel heat loss, limits oxygen content, and prevents component corrosion, eliminating the requirement for physical reactor vessel insulation and hydrogen recombiners.
  • Small, efficient core design limits source term: The NuScale reactor has 1/20 of the nuclear fuel of a large-scale reactor. Its small decay heat, inherent stability, and reactor physics eliminates fuel damage in all design basis events including those with failure of all control rods to insert. For beyond design basis events, radiation from fuel damage is below safe limits at the plant site boundary.
  • Digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C): NuScale’s proprietary field programmable gate array digital I&C system provides comprehensive monitoring and control of all plant systems in a single control room. The control room layout and panels are being designed using a state-of-the-art simulator as part of a comprehensive human factors engineering and human system interface.

NuScale Reactor Module Diagram