NuScale wins DOE funding for small modular nuclear reactor technology


NuScale has been selected as the winner of the second round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s competitively-bid, cost-sharing program to develop nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology. NuScale Power, LLC has been selected as the winner of the second round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) competitively-bid, cost-sharing program to develop nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology. As part of the award, NuScale will receive funding that will support the accelerated development of its NuScale Power Module™ SMR technology. DOE’s formal announcement about the selection was made Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C. NuScale and DOE will now move to negotiate a cooperative agreement that formalizes the public-private relationship and establishes milestones for the five-year funding program.

Earlier this year, DOE issued the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to provide support for SMR development, and move design certification forward to assist with commercialization. DOE’s FOA criteria focused on technologies that are unique and have innovative features that maximize resistance to hazards presented by natural phenomena. These features incorporate diverse and redundant safety systems including designed capabilities that aid in managing the consequences of severe accidents similar to the Fukushima events.

An independent team of industry experts convened by DOE conducted a rigorous evaluation of multiple SMR technologies before selecting NuScale Power for this award. NuScale will be required to match the Federal funds, which it will use to design, engineer, test, and pursue U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission design certification of its technology.

As Secretary Moniz said in the Energy Department’s announcement, “Small modular reactors represent a new generation of safe, reliable, low-carbon nuclear energy technology and provide a strong opportunity for America to lead this emerging global industry. The Energy Department is committed to strengthening nuclear energy’s continuing important role in America’s low carbon future, and new technologies like small modular reactors will help ensure our continued leadership in the safe, secure and efficient use of nuclear power worldwide.”

“We are very pleased with the DOE’s decision to award funding to NuScale Power and the company’s revolutionary technology for nuclear energy safety, “ said John Hopkins, NuScale Power’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are grateful to all those stakeholders who have voiced their support for NuScale throughout the DOE selection process including prospective customers, elected officials, our teaming partner Rolls Royce, as well as NuScale’s majority owner Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR),” he added.

“Energy Northwest is quite pleased the U.S. Department of Energy awarded funding to NuScale Power to aid in the development of the NuScale small modular reactor (SMR). Energy Northwest and a group comprised of public and investor-owned utilities undertook a rigorous two-year assessment of all SMR technologies and concluded that the NuScale technology is the right technology to best meet the needs of Northwest consumers over the long term. This award further validates that analysis,” stated Mark Reddemann, Energy Northwest chief executive officer. “Furthermore, we recognize the importance of developing, safely operating and demonstrating NuScale SMR technology in the Northwest region as an eventual pathway to an SMR providing affordable and environmentally responsible power to Washington State ratepayers.”

As the only U.S.-based company established solely for the commercialization of its SMR, NuScale Power has developed a unique and proprietary break-through technology for an innovative, simple, safe, economic and scalable small modular reactor. Natural forces of physics—gravity, convection, and conduction—are used for normal operations and safe shutdown. This eliminates many of the large and complex systems (e.g., pumps, motors, valves, piping) found in today’s nuclear power plants and other SMR designs. As a result, the NuScale plant is safe, simpler, and less expensive to build and operate. At 45 megawatts per module, the NuScale SMR design is attractive to markets that no other LWR SMR design can reach. A NuScale power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale Power Modules™ to produce as much as 540 MW.

The NuScale design was initially developed in 2000 and has been demonstrated and in testing programs since 2003 in a fully-instrumented one-third scale electrically-heated test facility in Corvallis, OR. In addition, NuScale commissioned a full-scale multi-module control-room simulator in May of 2012. Both facilities were U.S. SMR industry firsts.

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