Small modular reactor pioneer NuScale Power announced that two major engineering, procurement and construction firms are investing in the company’s future and hopes of revitalizing the U.S. nuclear energy sector.
Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction (DHIC) and Sargent & Lundy finalized agreements with NuScale on supporting future deployment of its SMRs. The EPC firms also contributing cash investments into NuScale.
The next-gen nuclear firm announced its initial agreement with Sargent & Lundy in May. They will team up on building NuScale’s Power Module, while Sargent & Lundy will proceed with plant design at multiple locations, including the Carbon Free Power Project in Idaho.
DHIC will bring its expertise in nuclear pressure vessel manufacturing and will join the manfactruing team to build the power module, which would be the first small modular reactor.
“NuScale’s collaborations with DHIC and Sargent & Lundy are a strong endorsement of our company’s standing as a global leader in SMR technology,” said NuScale CEO John Hopkins. “Both of these companies will provide cash investments and offer invaluable technical expertise, design support and, in the case of DHIC, manufacture key components of our groundbreaking reactor as we near the beginning of the construction phase for our first plant at the Idaho National Lab. We look forward to working with both of them to deliver America’s first SMR.”
South Korea-based DHIC said the partnership will give a boost to the U.S. and Korean nuclear industries while also, once deployed, contributing to the reduction of carbon dioxide.
“The strategic cooperation between NuScale and Doosan will be a foundation for our win-win collaboration not only in the US but also in the global nuclear markets,” said Kiyong Na, CEO of DHIC Nuclear Business Group.
Portland, Oregon-based NuScale has touted its technology as the world’s first and only SMR design to undergo design certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC recently completed phases 2 and 3 of its review and is scheduled to complete the entire review of NuScale’s design in September 2020.
NuScale’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.
The American nuclear power industry has struggled due to the expense of construction and operation versus lower-cost natural gas-fired, wind and solar projects. Georgia Power and its partners are continuing on with the Vogtle Units 3 and 4 expansion, but the work may cost $25 billion or more and take several more years than anticipated. Other projects, such as in South Carolina, have been abandoned by their owners.
Small nuclear reactor proponents say their projects will be less costly and have quicker completion times.