SNC-Lavalin and Holtec team up on SMR development

18 July 2017

The USA's Holtec International has signed a teaming agreement with Canada's SNC-Lavalin to collaborate in the development of Holtec's SMR-160 small modular reactor (SMR).

Holtec's vision for SMR-160 (Image: Holtec)

Under the agreement, SNC-Lavalin - parent company of Candu Energy - will provide Holtec with a range of nuclear engineering services, including supporting the licensing of the SMR-160 reactor.

Holtec said, "The partnership aims to vigorously accelerate the reactor system's ongoing development and international licensing efforts by linking SNC-Lavalin's world-class nuclear team with Holtec's SMR team."

Holtec's 160 MWe small modular reactor uses low-enriched uranium fuel. The factory-built reactor's core and all nuclear steam supply system components would be located underground, and the design incorporates a wealth of features including a passive cooling system that would be able to operate indefinitely after shutdown. No active components, such as pumps, are needed to run the reactor, which does not need any on-site or off-site power to shut down and to dissipate decay heat.

Preston Swafford, SNC-Lavalin chief nuclear officer and executive vice president of nuclear, said: "We know that the global nuclear market for safe, economic nuclear power continues to grow. Partnering with Holtec in the SMR-160 brings us a 'walk away safe' reactor design that will deliver a clean, affordable and reliable electricity supply satisfying regional and nation state power needs."

Holtec CEO and president Kris Singh added: "With SNC-Lavalin's contribution of a high calibre cadre of experts, Holtec is poised to deliver on our SMR promise, to re-invigorate nuclear power for a world in dire need of a weather-independent and carbon-free source of energy."

Holtec has previously secured engineering, design and qualification support for its work on the SMR-160 from the Shaw Group and URS Corporation, and has a strategic alliance with utility PSEG Power, operator of three nuclear units at Salem and Hope Creek in southern New Jersey. In August 2015, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc signed a long-term partnership agreement with Holtec to develop the instrumentation and control systems for the SMR-160.

The project was selected by the US Department of Energy in 2012 as one of three SMR projects to potentially be demonstrated at its Savannah River site in South Carolina. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is carrying out pre-application activities on the reactor design.

Holtec said it expects the initial licensing application by the end of 2018.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News