US Certifies First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

The design is courtesy of Oregon-based NuScale Power, which has been working to certify a small modular reactor (SMR) design since 2007. At the NuScale’s core are up to 12 power modules, or natural circulation light water reactors that each consist of a reactor core, a pressurizer, and two steam generators housed in steel. Each of these power modules generates 160 megawatts of thermal output (MWt) and 50 megawatts of electrical output (MWe). The lower portion of each power module is submerged in a below-ground pool that functions as a heat sink, thus precluding the need for emergency diesel generators (for power outages) or water injectors (to cool the reactor after an accident).

The NuScale reactor is the seventh nuclear reactor design to achieve certification in the US. The others are all considered conventional nuclear reactors. SMRs are significantly smaller than their conventional predecessors, making them more suitable for geographical locations in which large nuclear plants would not be possible. Their size also translates to easier construction and lower upfront costs, while their modular design allows them to be deployed incrementally as energy demand fluctuates…

Source: US Certifies First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

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