For the first time, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has certified the design of an advanced small modular reactor (SMR).
NuScale Power’s design has become the seventh reactor design approved for use in the United States, a move the Energy Department says will equip the country with new clean energy and lower emissions.
Following a final technical review, the NRC committee voted to certify the design last July.
The rule, which went into effect on Feb. 21, allows utilities to reference NuScale’s advanced light-water SMR design when applying for joint licenses to build and operate the reactor.
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Each module is capable of generating 50 megawatts of emission-free electricity.
Additionally, the NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant can house up to 12 factory-made power modules and is about one-third the size of a larger reactor, the department noted. Each power module utilizes natural processes to passively cool the reactor without additional water, power or operator action.
The company’s current goal is for each module to generate up to 77 megawatts of power. The committee is expected to review their applications this year.
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“We are pleased to announce the NRC’s historic rulemaking for the NuScale SMR design, and we thank the Department of Energy (DOE) for its support throughout the process,” Johns Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale Power, said in a statement. statement.
Since 2014, DOE has provided more than $600 million to support the design, permitting and siting of NuScale’s VOYGR SMR power plant and other domestic SMR concepts.
It is working with Utah’s Allied Municipal Power System to demonstrate a six-module NuScale VOYGR plant at the Idaho National Laboratory, with the first module expected to be operational by 2029.
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NuScale said this month it had a target price of $89 per megawatt-hour for the plant’s electricity, up 53% from its previous estimate of $58 per megawatt-hour.