NuScale Power’s Small Modular Reactor

NuScale Power submitted the first-ever Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Design Certification Application (DCA) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in December 2016.  The NRC accepted the DCA submittal in March 2017 and the NRC’s final report approving the design is expected by September 2020. Despite the long time frame, there are already positive signs emerging.

The NRC recently concluded that NuScale’s novel safety design approach eliminates the need for Class 1E power.  Class 1E is the regulatory standard set for the design of safety-related electrical systems. Currently, the NRC requires all nuclear power plants in the United States to have Class 1E power supplies to ensure safety.

NuScale’s design also eliminates the postulated large Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) scenario due to its integral design, lack of coolant pumps, and reliance on natural circulation/convection.

In July, the NRC concluded that the hybrid analog and digital logic-based system developed for NuScale’s SMR is acceptable for use in plant safety-related instrumentation and control system. The highly integrated protection system platform comprises the safety function, communications, equipment interfaces, and hard-wired modules.

The first commercial NuScale SMR is planned for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) on the site of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and will be operated by Energy Northwest, operator of the Columbia Generation Station near Richland, WA.

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