Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Nuclear Technology

Fluor is a majority investor in NuScale, a small modular reactor (SMR) technology company. In April 2018, NuScale's SMR design certification application became the first ever to complete U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Phase 1 review.

The NRC is expected to certify NuScale’s design. 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.

The NRC concluded that application of NuScale's safety design approach eliminates the need for class 1E power for its small modular reactor in January 2018.

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

NuScale is also working to bring SMRs to Canada. In November 2018, NuScale announced the signing of a memo of understanding (MOU) with Ontario Power Generation to support NuScale's vendor design review (VDR) with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

Safe - NuScale's passive safety systems, using natural circulation for emergency feedwater cooling, eliminates the need for external emergency power. The system is submerged in a below-ground water pool in an earthquake resistant building, making it seismically robust.

SMRs are defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency as those with an electrical output of less than 300 megawatt electrical (MWe).

Modular - Production of modular component at U.S. and international facilities helps lower costs and reduce lead times and flexible for changing demand volumes.

Scalable - Power generating capacity can be increased as needed by installing additional NuScale modules.

Reliable - Designed for baseload production with capacity factors in excess of 90 percent.

Off-the-shelf Technologies - Minimizes the need for additional research and development. Simplified design, moving the primary coolant (water) to natural circulation, eliminates the need for primary coolant pumps and external power.

Small electric grid application - The small size allows for applications that cannot accommodate large-scale plants.