The U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given the green safety light to small nuclear reactor design, and this might very well transform the energy sector.
It is excellent news for the nuclear energy sector as well as this will bring more significant business opportunities. It is said to be used in future projects at large once its licensing and approval phase gets complete.
The new design could be of great use by keeping the energy costs a lot less than compared to other methods of production. It will also help in keeping the overall financial costs lower.
The best part of this new small modular reactor is that it won’t require special transportation, neither would it ask for extra efforts in building it on site. It could be easily manufactured in factories.
NuScale’s modular reactor is built with 76 feet tall (23 meters), 15 feet wide (4.5 meters) cylinder made of steel, and is capable of producing up to 50 megawatts of electricity. NuScale has demonstrated 12 of its new design reactors functioning in a pool just the way reactors do in nuclear power plants.
The design is small in size but excellent in its functioning. It works the same as other reactors are designed to function: Water is contained in an internal loop that is heated using uranium fuel rods, which creates high temperatures. Those high temperatures are then transferred through an external steam loop using a coil. That temperature is released in the plants, which resultingly powers a generating turbine. Lastly, the steam cools down and goes back around to the reactors in circulation.
The most significant part of this small modular design is that its the first-ever American Modular designed to come this far and hence is near to its application at large.
Director Marc Nichol said in a statement: “As the first U.S. small modular reactor design to be issued an FSER, NuScale is pioneering the way for additional innovative advanced nuclear technologies that are under development.”
This design was first submitted for approval back in 2016 and got accepted in 2017, respectively. It is safer and contained in size, and these attributes of its design helped the model to get going in less than what it usually takes for a standard design by the concerned authorities.
After its massive success in getting the design accepted at large, NuScale is now planning to design a more capable version that would generate 60-megawatt of energy. Let us see where this design would lead the world with transforming the energy sector towards nuclear at large.