Home » US nuclear energy firm unveils plan for new miniature SMR

US nuclear energy firm unveils plan for new miniature SMR

by Liam Turner
A peel-away CGI rendering of the Westinghouse AP300 SMR

A US nuclear energy firm has unveiled plans for a new small modular reactor (SMR) based on its larger AP1000 reactor.

Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse has submitted a pre-application Regulatory Engagement Plan with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its AP300 SMR.

The AP300 SMR is based on the proven, licensed Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, the only Gen III+ advanced nuclear technology operating in the world.

The engagement plan outlines the pre-application activities Westinghouse will have with NRC staff to support the AP300 SMR licensing.

It documents the basic design philosophy of the AP300 technology, an overview of the proposed licensing approach, and a timeline for the planned pre-application interactions between the NRC and Westinghouse, with the goal of soliciting NRC feedback on noteworthy topics.

Commenting on the submission, David Durham, Energy Systems president for Westinghouse, said: “Basing the AP300 SMR on an Nth-of-a-kind operating reactor is a key differentiator for our SMR technology, and the work we are undertaking with the NRC should minimise regulatory complexity and create a timely and efficient path for the licensing of the AP300 SMR design.”

The AP300 SMR design utilises Westinghouse’s Gen III+ technology, which has regulatory approval in the US, Great Britain, and China, as well as compliance with European Utility Requirements (EUR) standards for nuclear power plants.

Westinghouse says this brings licensing advantages and “substantially” reduces delivery risk for customers in the utility, oil and gas, and industrial space.

Design certification is anticipated by 2027, followed by site-specific licensing and construction on the first unit toward the end of the decade.

Currently, four units utilising AP1000 technology are operating in China, while six more are under construction.

There is one AP1000 reactor currently operating at Plant Vogtle, Georgia, while a second nears completion.

Westinghouse aims to provide technology to create a sustainable future and enhance energy security around the globe – and eventually in space.

Image: A peel-away CGI rendering of the Westinghouse AP300 SMR. Credit: Westinghouse

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