NuScale seeks US NRC approval for its SMR commercial power plant design


US-based company NuScale Power has submitted the first small modular reactor (SMR) design certification application (DCA) to the country’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

On approval, the SMRs will deliver cheap, clean, reliable energy in scalable plants where output can be incrementally increased based on the demand.

US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “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 operational flexibility of the SMRs is in line with other zero-carbon sources such as wind and solar.

If approved, the global demand for the company’s SMR plants will be able to generate several job opportunities in the course of their development, construction, and operational periods.

"Small modular reactors represent a new generation of safe, reliable, low-carbon nuclear energy technology."

NuScale Power's chief operating officer (COO) and chief networking officer (CNO) Dale Atkinson said: “We have documented, in extensive detail, the design conceived by Dr Jose Reyes more than a decade ago.

"We are confident that we have submitted a comprehensive and quality application and we look forward to working with the NRC during its review.”

The certification process will be completed over the next 40 months. After being the only winner of the second round of the DOE’s cost-sharing programme for SMR technology development, NuScale Power is currently the sole SMR developer receiving DOE financial support.

The company’s first commercial 12-module power plant will be constructed on the site of the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho, US.