Fluor is a majority investor in NuScale Power, a small modular reactor (SMR) technology company. SMR-generated power is 100 percent carbon-free, comparable to power generated from wind, sun or water, but requires just one percent of the land area to produce the same amount of power. It also avoids emitting more than 6 million tons of CO2 annually when comparing just one 60-megawatt NuScale plant with coal, and 2.5 million tons of CO2 when comparing one NuScale plant with natural gas.
In April 2018, NuScale's SMR design certification application became the first ever to complete U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Phase 1 review. In July 2019, the NRC completed Phases 2 and 3 of the design certification process. In December 2019, the NRC completed Phase 4 and it remains on track to finish the review by September 2020.
Utilizing NuScale Power's technology, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is planning to construct the first commercial small modular reactor (SMR) power plant. The SMR power plant will be located on the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) 890-square-mile Idaho site that could generate 720 MW of emissions-free power in a relatively small footprint.
In January 2019, the DOE reached an agreement to support power generated from a small modular nuclear reactor project by using power from one of the modules for research and power to supply a national laboratory. The DOE intends to draw from two modules of a 12-module SMR plant to be constructed at the Idaho National Laboratory by NuScale under UAMPS' Carbon Free Power Project. The plan is for the first module to be operational by late 2026 with the entire 12-module plant operational by 2027.
The modular reactors would be manufactured at a fabrication plant and delivered to a site for installation. Factory production can increase quality, reduce cost and shorten construction schedules. Capital costs are lower for smaller SMR plants, opening the possibility of nuclear power to a wider group of potential owners. The smaller scale modular design provides more flexibility for installing at sites in remote locations or for replacing retiring fossil plants. In January 2018, the NRC concluded that application of NuScale's safety design approach eliminates the need for class 1E power for its small modular reactor. Due to these benefits, SMRs are drawing a great deal of attention from governments, utilities (large and small), communities and the nuclear industry.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has recognized NuScale's quality management by issuing the N Certificate of Authorization. This allows NuScale to apply a Certification Mark (N-Stamp) to its innovative NuScale Power Module, signifying that it has been designed and constructed in accordance with Section III of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.
In July 2019, NuScale announced agreements with Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction (DHIC) and Sargent & Lundy to provide cash investments and deployment support to NuScale. Both companies will furnish technical expertise, and DHIC will also manufacture key components of the reactor.
NuScale is working to bring SMRs to Canada. In November 2018, NuScale announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ontario Power Generation to support NuScale's vendor design review (VDR) with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Later that month, NuScale announced an MOU with Bruce Power L.P., Canada's first private nuclear generator. Bruce Power will work with NuScale on evaluation, planning and licensing activities, including studies to demonstrate how SMR deployment can benefit Canadians.
In January 2019, NuScale Power announced that it had signed an MOU with the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) to evaluate NuScale’s SMR nuclear power plant for use in Jordan.
In March 2019, NuScale Power signed an MOU with Romania's Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN) for exchange of business and technical information on NuScale's innovative nuclear reactor technology.