These are exciting times for not only the nuclear energy industry but also for those wishing to have a large and stable source of energy beyond coal, gas, and oil. NuScale Power, an Oregon-based company, has announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed the last and final phase of the Design Certification Application (DCA) for the company’s innovative small modular reactor (SMR). This means that customers can proceed with plans to develop NuScale power plants with the understanding that the NRC has approved the safety aspects of the design.
This announcement brings a significant boost to the commercialization of SMR technology and the reality of safe, affordable, and carbon-free energy for diverse applications energy applications such as electrical generation, district heating, desalination, and other process heat applications. This small modular reactor (SMR) design features a fully factory-fabricated module capable of generating 60 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. The scalable design—a power plant can house up to 12 individual power modules—offers the benefits of carbon-free energy and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power.