NuScale signs agreements at home and abroad

27 May 2021

Japanese heavy-industry engineering and manufacturing company IHI Corporation is to invest in small modular reactor developer NuScale Power and become a strategic supplier for NuScale plants under a new commercial agreement between the two companies. Separately, NuScale has announced it is working with public electric utility Grant County Public Utility District (Grant PUD) to explore the deployment of nuclear energy in central Washington state.

(Image: NuScale)

IHI President and CEO Hiroshi Ide said the strategic partnership with NuScale was a "great opportunity" for the Japanese company, which has since the 1950s designed and manufactured primary components for nuclear power plants in Japan but is now facing a stagnant domestic market. "IHI wants to support the move toward a carbon-neutral economy, and NuScale's technology is safe, clean, reliable and closest to commercialisation among its competitors. IHI can support rapid deployment of NuScale's technology by leveraging IHI's extensive engineering and manufacturing experience in the nuclear industry," he said.

IHI will provide a cash investment in NuScale Power, and will become a preferred supplier of certain manufactured components for NuScale plants globally, NuScale said. IHI is the second Japanese company to establish a commercial relationship with Portland, Oregon-based NuScale, following a recent agreement with JGC Holdings Corporation.

"IHI's welcome investment in NuScale Power compliments our effort to demonstrate how cleaner and safer advanced nuclear technology can bring numerous economic and environmental benefits to countries around the world as we all transition to clean energy," NuScale Chairman and CEO John Hopkins said. "This announcement truly emphasizes the growing Japanese and global interest in NuScale's innovative SMR design, and this new partnership is an exciting step for our technology and its international potential."

Washington MoU

Separately, NuScale and Grant PUD have announced they will work together to examine NuScale's advanced nuclear technology's ability to deliver an "affordable and reliable clean energy future" to central Washington.

Grant PUD, based in Ephrata, Washington, is a public electric utility with some 2100 MWe of hydroelectric capacity. Its 40,000 retail customers includes an expanding industrial sector.

"As interest in our SMRs grows, we welcome this opportunity to emphasise how NuScale's safer and smarter technology can be the reliable and affordable clean energy solution that communities like Grant County and others across America need," Hopkins said.

"Grant PUD is very excited to be in partnership with NuScale to explore the development of one of its small modular reactor nuclear plants," Grant PUD CEO Kevin Nord said. "NuScale's dedication to innovation and safety fit well with Grant PUD's values. We are excited to work towards making nuclear power a key part of a carbon free future in the Pacific Northwest."

The NuScale Power Module is a pressurised water reactor with all the components for steam generation and heat exchange incorporated into a single integrated unit. The unit can generate 77 MWe (gross) per module, or about 924 MWe for a 12-module power plant. NuScale will also offer options for smaller four-module and six-module plant sizes.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News