Ukrainian review of NuScale SMR safety assessment

19 November 2021

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is funding an independent review by a technical advisory body to Ukraine's nuclear regulator of the NuScale Power Module Safety Analysis Report. This review will be made available to any utility in Ukraine interested in deploying NuScale Power's small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

What a NuScale SMR-based power plant could look like (Image: NuScale)

In February 2020, NuScale Power and Ukraine's State Scientific and Technical Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SSTC NRS) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to start work on the evaluation of national regulatory and design processes related to the implementation of NuScale SMR technology in Ukraine. Under the agreement, the two organisations will collaborate on the regulatory and design gaps between US and Ukrainian processes for the licensing, construction and operation of a NuScale power plant.

NuScale said the scope of the independent review will be developed by NuScale and SSTC NRS, and is expected to begin in 2022. DOE's Argonne National Laboratory will administer the contract for the effort and review deliverables. It added that the review report will be made available to any utility in Ukraine willing to pursue an approved US SMR technology.

"Any party interested in deploying an SMR in Ukraine will benefit from this independent review," NuScale said. "This review will demonstrate the viability, value, and international interest in utilising NuScale's SMR technology to produce clean, reliable and affordable energy."

"NuScale is thrilled to see this important regulatory collaboration taking place between the United States and Ukraine to provide utilities with the utmost confidence in the safety of NuScale's small modular reactor," said NuScale Chairman and CEO John Hopkins. "We're eager to be as helpful as possible to the review team during this process."

Ukraine's nuclear power plant operator, Energoatom, signed an MoU with NuScale Power in early September, under which they will explore the possible deployment of NuScale SMRs to replace fossil fuel plants. NuScale will support Energoatom to draw up a feasibility study including proposed project sites, the development of a project timeline and deliverables, cost studies, technical reviews, licensing and permitting as well as project-specific engineering and design work.

The NuScale Power Module is a 77 MWe pressurised water reactor with all the components for steam generation and heat exchange incorporated into a single unit. It has received standard design approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission - the first and, so far, only SMR to do so. NuScale and Fluor are currently working for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to bring an SMR project to commercialisation, aiming for the first plant to be in operation at a site in Idaho by 2030.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News