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NRC approves safety report for Westinghouse small modular nuclear reactor

Westinghouse small modular nuclear reactor design safety report approved

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved Westinghouse Electric’s testing approach for its small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) design.

In a Feb. 27th letter to Westinghouse, the NRC said it approved a safety evaluation report for the licensing topical report submitted in April 2012. The report identified what would happen in the unlikely event of an accident due to a small break in the water circuit that cools the reactor, according to World Nuclear News. The report also defined what test Westinghouse would use in order to prove that its safety systems would safely shut down in response to such an accident, the article said. The company said the risk of breaks in the reactor coolant loop is eliminated in the SMR design because there are no large primary penetrations of the reactor vessel or large loop piping, the article said.

The Westinghouse SMR is a 225-MW integral pressurized water reactor based off the company’s AP1000 reactor design. It uses passive safety systems and proven components with all primary components located inside of the reactor vessel, as well as modular construction techniques.

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