NuScale SMR Becomes First to Complete NRC Phase One Review

By Editors of Power Engineering

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed the first and most intensive phase of review for NuScale Power’s design certification application. NuScale’s is the first and only small modular reactor application to ever undergo NRC review.

This achievement brings NuScale Power closer to introducing the country’s first SMR to market, with the company saying it puts the U.S. on a path to beat foreign competitors like Russia and China at a global SMR race.

The NRC is expected to certify NuScale’s design, and the company’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, is planning a 12-module SMR plant in Idaho slated for operation by the mid-2020s based on this certified design.

“We are thankful for the rigorous review of our revolutionary nuclear design and greatly appreciate the government recognizing the importance of furthering NuScale’s advancement,” said John Hopkins, NuScale Power chairman and CEO John Hopkins. “Our technology means significant economic and job benefits for the country and it’s positioned to revitalize the domestic nuclear industry by virtue of NuScale’s affordable, flexible, and safe solution to providing zero-carbon energy.”

During the 115,000 hours the NRC spent reviewing the DCA, it issued far fewer requests for additional information compared to other design certification applications, demonstrating the simplicity of the design and quality of the application.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded NuScale $40 million in cost-sharing financial assistance under its “U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development” funding opportunity. The federal award supports early-stage research and development and the industry’s acceleration of these technologies to promote U.S. energy independence, energy dominance, electricity grid resiliency, national security, and clean baseload power.