Advanced Small Modular Reactors

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In boost to Canada’s nuclear roadmap, OPG advances work with three SMR developers
By POWER Magazine

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) took another step to bolster plans to deploy small modular reactors (SMRs) in Ontario, announcing it is advancing engineering and design work with three major advanced nuclear reactor developers: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), Terrestrial Energy, and X-energy. OPG’s decision to further engineering and design work with the three advanced nuclear reactor vendors—each of which are developing distinct designs—are notable from a utility investment perspective.

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How the private sector is shaping the future of nuclear energy
By National Review

Last week, the future of nuclear energy got an immense boost. U.S. officials greenlit America’s first-ever commercial small modular reactor, to be constructed in eastern Idaho by a company called NuScale Power. The first will be built by 2029, with eleven more to follow by 2030. NuScale Power’s recently approved design marks a landmark achievement for the future of nuclear energy: the move towards smaller, more high-tech nuclear reactors — a type dominated by private-sector competition. These small modular reactors (SMRs) represent a real chance for energy innovation in the United States, and an opportunity to lead the world.

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Bill Gates’ nuclear reactor company adds molten salt storage to its SMR system
By Greentech Media

TerraPower, the Bill Gates-backed nuclear innovation firm, has launched a new small modular reactor system paired with a molten salt storage unit. The new concept, dubbed Natrium, is being developed in partnership with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. According to the pair, it could be used to boost a 345-megawatt small modular reactor (SMR) to around 500 megawatts for a period of up to five hours.

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Energy Cast podcast: The future of next-gen nuclear technologies
By Power Engineering

The U.S. and other developed nations have a challenge meeting zero-carbon goals of the coming decades. They want dramatic carbon reduction in their electricity sector, but renewables cannot provide 24/7 baseload power. Nuclear’s small modular reactor industry is a sector right on the cusp of final regulatory acceptance and potential widespread deployment. SMRs such as those developed by NuScale Power and other companies offer the same carbon-free, full-time capacity of conventional large reactor projects, but they would offer a smaller footprint and less expensive construction phase.

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US Department of Energy backs proposed SMR regulation
By World Nuclear News

The US Department of Energy (DOE) “strongly supports” the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) proposal to apply risk-based emergency preparedness requirements to small modular reactors (SMRs) and other new technologies. DOE said the NRC’s proposed rule is “the next step in determining the appropriate Emergency Planning Zone size for SMRs and is crucial for the US nuclear industry and the overall development of the technology”.

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Oklo submits first advanced reactor license application in US as NRC moves to streamline reviews
By Matthew Bandyk, Utility Dive

Oklo, a developer of a micro nuclear reactor design that it claims will be a technological leap ahead of current operating power reactors, has become the first of the so-called “advanced reactors” to submit a combined construction and operating license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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Small Nuclear Power Reactors
World Nuclear Association

Today, due partly to the high capital cost of large power reactors generating electricity via the steam cycle and partly to the need to service small electricity grids under about 4 GWe, there is a move to develop smaller units. These may be built independently or as modules in a larger complex, with capacity added incrementally as required . Economies of scale are envisaged due to the numbers produced. There are also moves to develop independent small units for remote sites. Small units are seen as a much more manageable investment than big ones whose cost often rivals the capitalization of the utilities concerned.

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These Tiny Nuclear Power Stations Could Be, Well, Huge
By Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics

Rolls-Royce has taken a sharp right turn, from making million-dollar luxury sedans to researching cutting-edge nuclear small modular reactors (SMRs). Modular reactors are au courant in energy technology, and Rolls-Royce joins startups and governments around the world in trying to shrink the footprint and increase the safety of nuclear energy.

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Nuclear Power: The Road to a Carbon Free Future
International Atomic Energy Agency

Today, nuclear power provides 10% of the world’s electricity. But to stem climate change, we’re going to need far greater amounts of clean and reliable energy. Thirty countries currently operate nuclear power plants. More than two dozen others are looking at nuclear energy to meet their power and climate needs. In the western United States, more than 30 towns and cities are also looking to the future. They want to go carbon free. And they’re betting on small modular reactors (SMRs) to get there.


A brief history of tiny nuclear reactors
By Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics

Last week’s news of NuScale’s modular nuclear reactor, which can fit by the dozens into the space of one traditional nuclear plant cooling tower, resonated because of its tiny size and safety in numbers. And while NuScale takes the cake in terms of the smallest footprint and tonnage in this space, there are similar modular reactors in the late development and regulatory stages.

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EDF and Westinghouse in talks to develop SMR nuclear reactor
By Geert De Clercq, Reuters

French state-controlled utility EDF and French nuclear state agency CEA are in talks with U.S. nuclear reactor builder Westinghouse to develop a Small Modular Reactor (SMR)

In a joint statement by CEA, EDF, defense firm Naval Group and nuclear propulsion specialist TechnicAtome, they said their jointly developed “Nuward” SMR project aims to build a 300-400 megawatt (MW) pressurized water reactor by the late 2020s and that it is open to international cooperation.

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DOE Accelerates Long-Awaited User Facility Upgrades
By Will Thomas, American Institute of Physics

With recent funding increases, the Department of Energy is advancing a suite of upgrades to its light and neutron source scientific user facilities, helping them remain competitive with European facilities. Meanwhile, there are new discussions about building a new reactor-based neutron source, even as Congress pushes ahead with a different reactor for nuclear energy R&D.

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Small Nuclear Power Reactors
World Nuclear Association

Today, due partly to the high capital cost of large power reactors generating electricity via the steam cycle and partly to the need to service small electricity grids under about 4 GWe, there is a move to develop smaller units. These may be built independently or as modules in a larger complex, with capacity added incrementally as required

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Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)
U.S. Department of Energy

Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are a key part of the Department’s goal to develop safe, clean, and affordable nuclear power options. The advanced SMRs currently under development in the U.S. represent a variety of sizes, technology options, and deployment scenarios. These advanced reactors, envisioned to vary in size from a couple megawatts up to hundreds of megawatts, can be used for power generation, process heat, desalination, or other industrial uses. SMRs can employ light water as a coolant or other non-light water coolants such as a gas, liquid metal, or molten salt.

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