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The United States approves the design of the first small modular nuclear reactor


The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has certified the design of a small advanced modular reactor (SMR) for the first time.

NuScale Power’s design has become the seventh reactor design licensed for use in the United States, a move the Department of Energy says would equip the country with a new source of clean energy and bring emissions down .

The NRC Commission voted in favor of design certification last July, following a final technical review.

The rule takes effect Feb. 21, allowing utilities to reference NuScale’s advanced light-water SMR design when applying for a combined license to build and operate a reactor.

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Secretary Jennifer Granholm hosts a Department of Energy press conference in Washington, DC on December 13, 2022.
(Reuters/Mary F. Calver/File Photo)

Each of the modules is capable of generating 50 megawatts of emissions-free electricity.

Additionally, the department noted that the NuScale VOYGR SMR plant can house up to 12 factory-built power modules that are about one-third the size of a full-scale reactor. Each power module harnesses natural processes to passively cool the reactor without water, electricity or additional operator intervention.

The company currently aims to allow each module to generate up to 77 megawatts. The commission is expected to consider their application this year.

The NuScale Power logo is displayed on a smartphone, October 5, 2022.

The NuScale Power logo is displayed on a smartphone, October 5, 2022.
(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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“We are pleased to announce the establishment of historic Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules for the design of NuScale’s Small Modular Reactor, and we thank the Department of Energy (DOE) for its support throughout this process. “said John Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale Power. A declaration.

NuScale CEO and Chairman John Hopkins speaks at the Lowery Theater on July 8, 2016 in Salford, England.

NuScale CEO and Chairman John Hopkins speaks at the Lowery Theater on July 8, 2016 in Salford, England.
(Jonathan Nicholson/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Department of Energy has provided more than $600 million since 2014 to support the design, licensing, and implementation of NuScale’s VOYGR SMR power plant and other national SMR concepts.

He is working with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to demonstrate a six-module NuScale VOYGR plant at the Idaho National Laboratory, with the first module expected to be operational by 2029.

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NuScale said this month that the plant’s target price for power was $89 per megawatt-hour, up 53% from the previous estimate of $58 per MWh.

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