NuScale Small Modular Reactor Nuclear Technology

NuScale Small Modular Reactor Nuclear Technology

Abstract

Fluor is a majority investor in NuScale Power, a small modular reactor (SMR) technology company based in Portland, Oregon. NuScale has designed an extraordinarily safe NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) based on light water reactor technology proven in operation for over 50 years. Each NPM consists of a fully integrated reactor vessel, steam generator, and containment vessel.

NuScale intends to commercialize power plants that are modular in 77 MWe (gross) increments and scalable in four-module, six-module and 12-module plant sizes. The design eliminates many costly, complex systems with cutting-edge manufacturing to reduce time and production cost. It incorporates features that reduce complexity, improve safety, enhance operability and reduce risks.

NuScale’s safety features include:

  • The Triple Crown for Nuclear Plant Safety™ design safely shuts down and self-cools indefinitely with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no additional water. This is a first for commercial nuclear power.
  • High-pressure containment vessel, redundant passive decay heat removal, and containment heat removal systems.
  • The integrated design of the NuScale Power Module, encompassing the reactor, steam generators, and pressurizer, and its use of natural circulation eliminates the need for large primary piping and reactor coolant pumps.
  • A small nuclear fuel inventory, since each 77 MWe (gross) NuScale Power Module houses approximately five percent of the nuclear fuel of a conventional 1,000 MWe nuclear reactor.
  • Containment vessel submerged in an ultimate heat sink for core cooling in a below grade reactor pool structure housed in a Seismic Category 1 reactor building.

Client Benefits

Each NuScale Power Module generates 77 MWe per unit. The 12-module NuScale plant produces 924 MWe (gross) and can power over 700,000 homes in the U.S. with carbon-free electricity. This would reduce CO2 emissions by eight million tons per year as compared to coal, which is the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road per year.

NuScale's small modular reactor (SMR) technology presents clients with a safer, modular, scalable, and economical solution to off-the-grid nuclear power applications. The NuScale 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 also provides more flexibility for installing at sites in remote locations, or for replacing older fossil plants that are retiring.

Due to these benefits, SMRs are drawing a great deal of attention from governments, utilities large and small, communities, and the nuclear industry.