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NuScale Makes First-of-a-Kind NRC Filing for SMR Design Approval

Congratulations to NuScale Power on submitting to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) the first-ever application for design approval of a small modular reactor (SMR). The NuScale SMR is designed to supply safe, affordable, clean, reliable power in scalable plants whose facility output can incrementally increase depending on demand. Its significant operational flexibility is also complementary to other zero-carbon sources like wind and solar.

“The world’s demand for electricity and clean water will increase significantly over the next several decades,” said NuScale Chairman and CEO John Hopkins at a Washington, DC press conference on January 12. “Our technology can meet that challenge with clean and reliable power, improving the environment and the quality of life for humankind.”

The NuScale SMR technology uses pressurized water reactor modules, each with a generating capacity of 50 megawatts-electric. Up to 12 modules can be combined into a single power plant for a total capacity of up to 600 MW.

The first plant NuScale expects to build will be at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory and will be owned by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems’ Carbon Free Power Project and operated by Energy Northwest, a Washington-based utility. Commercial operations are expected to begin by 2026.

Copyright © 2020 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 24


About this Author

Paul Bessette, Morgan Lewis, Utilities and Energy Attorney

Paul M. Bessette counsels nuclear utilities, reactor designers, and other nuclear service providers in licensing, regulatory, adjudicatory, and litigation matters. He has litigated more than 10 lawsuits before the US Court of Federal Claims in connection with federal obligations to accept and remove spent nuclear fuel, and supports ongoing settlements of spent fuel claims with the government. He also advises clients on licensing of new-generation nuclear power plants, and counsels nuclear utilities in their applications to renew existing nuclear power plant operating...