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™, generates 77 megawatts of electricity (MWe), resulting in a total gross output of 924 MWe for our flagship 12-module power plant. We also offer smaller power plant solutions in four-module (308 MWe) and six-module (462 MWe) configurations, though others will be possible. With an 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: Modules 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 unlimited coping period—a first for light water reactor technology.
  • Helical Coil Steam Generators (HCSG): The use of compact HCSGs provides a large heat transfer surface area in a small volume. The HCSG geometry has a very low pressure drop that serves to maximize natural circulation flow in the primary loop. The once-through counter-flow design enables the generation of superheated steam and good thermal efficiency using natural circulation flow.
  • High strength steel containment immersed in the cooling pool:  Acts as a heat exchanger to provide the means to transfer reactor heat to the reactor pool water to limit containment pressure, 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 heat removal under loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) conditions.
  • Maintaining containment in a vacuum limits heat exchange during normal operation: 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: Our SMR 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 postulated design basis events, including those with failure of all control rods to insert. For postulated beyond design basis events, radiation from fuel damage is well below regulatory 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. Control room layout and panel displays were designed using a state-of-the-art simulator and a comprehensive human factors engineering and human system interface evaluation program.

NuScale Reactor Module Diagram