New Projects, Nuclear, Reactors

Sargent & Lundy buying into NuScale SMR nuclear design efforts

Power sector engineering firm Sargent & Lundy will work with NuScale to build what the companies are calling America’s first small modular nuclear reactor.

Sargent & Lundy, which has 60 years experience in nuclear unit design, will become a NuScale investor, actively engage in development of the plant design and provide architectural engineering support. The two will team up on building NuScale’s Power Module.

“NuScale is excited about this new strategic relationship with Sargent & Lundy, a global leader in power and energy architect engineering,” said John Hopkins, Chairman and CEO of NuScale Power. “We are proud to have Sargent & Lundy’s expertise in our corner expanding the breadth of our design development team to bring NuScale’s pioneering design–and America’s first SMR–to market.”

Fluor Corp. will continue to be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the project. Fluor will work with NuScale and Sargent & Lundy on aspects of the SMR plant design.

“We are inspired by the simplicity and exceptional safety inherent in NuScale’s design and expect this technology to have a major impact on the future of the electric power industry,” said Sargent & Lundy Chairman and CEO Thomas R. White. “We are proud to partner with NuScale as the company continues progress towards a clean energy future for America and around the globe.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies are aiming to close the strategic relationship within the next 30 days.

NuScale’s technology is the world’s first and only SMR to undergo design certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC is scheduled to complete its review of NuScale’s design in September 2020.

Small modular reactors are seen as a way to revive the struggling nuclear power industry. The SMRs are small, require less on-site construction and are seen as safer and able to avoid many of the financial pitfalls facing conventional nuclear reactor construction sites.

None are yet built or operational at this time.

SMR designs are underway in the U.S., Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark and numerous other countries. Only designs in the U.S. and South Korea are in the licensing phase.

— — — — — 

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International, which is happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).