Areva to supply fuel assemblies for NuScale SMR

03 December 2015

Areva Inc has signed a contract to manufacture fuel assemblies for NuScale Power LLC's small modular reactor (SMR) technology, the two companies announced yesterday. Mechanical and thermal hydraulic testing of these new fuel assemblies are underway as part of Oregon, USA-based NuScale's design certification application, which is planned for submission to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late 2016.

Areva's HTP advanced pressurized water reactor fuel has been designed for use in the SMRs currently under development. Under the agreement, Areva will supply the initial cores for NuScale's reactors as well as subsequent reloads.

"Areva continues to provide critical support to NuScale as we bring our groundbreaking small modular reactor design to the market," said Dale Atkinson, NuScale's chief operating officer and chief nuclear officer.

Ron Land, senior vice president of Areva's fuel business line for the USA, said: "We are proud to utilize the expertise of our teams and their decades of experience and focus on operational excellence to support NuScale in its work in the development of new nuclear technology."

A nuclear power plant using NuScale's technology comprises individual NuScale Power Modules, each producing 50 MWe (gross) with its own factory-built combined containment vessel and reactor vessel, and its own packaged turbine-generator set.

A power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale Power Modules to produce as much as 600 MWe, gross (570 net, nominal, after house loads). The reactor coolant is driven by natural circulation and can be shut down safely with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no external water supply.

NuScale said its power plants are "scalable", with additional modules added as customer demand for electricity increases. It added that the technology is also "ideally suited" to supply energy for district heating, desalination, and other applications.

NuScale, in which engineering, procurement, and construction company Fluor Corporation is the majority investor, is developing its technology with a cost-sharing award from the US Department of Energy worth $217 million over five years. The company hopes to have its first unit in operation in late 2023, generating power in Idaho for prospective customer the Utah Association of Municipal Power Systems.

NuScale announced in October that it aims to deploy its SMR technology in the UK with the first of its 50 MWe units in operation by the mid-2020s. The company is looking for partners to make this happen.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News