NRC Approves NuScale's Fundamental SMR Safety Feature

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has concluded that application of NuScale Power’s safety design approach related to its small modular reactor (SMR) eliminates the need for class 1E power, which is the regulatory standard set for the design of safety-related nuclear power plant electrical systems.

NuScale SMRIn its newly released Safety Evaluation Report, the NRC approves NuScale Power’s “Safety Classification of Passive Nuclear Power Plant Electrical Systems” Licensing Topical Report, where the company established the bases of how a design can be safe without reliance on any safety-related electrical power. Currently, all nuclear plants in the U.S. are required to have class 1E power supplies to ensure safety. The NRC has limited its approval to only NuScale Power’s design. NRC’s conclusion is a key step in the review process of NuScale’s Power Module Design Certification Application (DCA), the company said.

“We appreciate the NRC staff’s focused and thorough analysis of the safety and reliability our SMR design offers and for issuing their findings so early in our DCA review,” says NuScale Power Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nuclear Officer Dale Atkinson. “Our approach to safety is a first in the nuclear industry and exemplifies the inherent safety of NuScale’s SMR. This validation brings us another step closer to achieving our mission of delivering scalable advanced nuclear technology to produce the electricity, process heat, and clean water needed to improve the quality of life for people around the world.”

The NRC’s review of NuScale’s DCA began March 2017 with the submission of nearly 12,000 pages of design-related documents. The regulator's final report approving the design is expected to be complete by September 2020. Once approved, certified NuScale SMRs will be available to domestic customers to be licensed for construction and operation. NuScale Power is the only company to have submitted an SMR DCA. Regulatory approval will support its first U.S. deployment by the mid 2020’s, further establishing NuScale as the leader in SMR technology.

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