PORTLAND, Ore. (December 12, 2019) — NuScale Power today announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has completed the fourth phase of review of the design certification application (DCA) for the company’s revolutionary small modular reactor (SMR). NuScale reached this milestone on schedule, marking yet another significant achievement along its path to commercialization. The entire review of NuScale’s SMR design is now in Phases 5 and 6.
NuScale’s technology is the world’s first and only SMR to undergo design certification review by the NRC, and today’s major announcement, along with ongoing work by NuScale’s manufacturing partners, demonstrates how close NuScale is to bringing the country’s first SMR into production and operation, putting the U.S. on the path to beat foreign competitors in the global SMR race. NuScale’s achievement is a result of the successful private-public partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and support from Congress.
Phase 4 of the NRC’s DCA review represents completion of the advanced safety evaluation report (SER) with no open items. Completion of Phase 4 is significant as it signifies near-completion of the technical review. All requests for additional information have been closed, and all open items have been closed. This is the last version of the SER before the NRC issues its Final SER in September 2020, and the NRC remains on track to complete its final review of NuScale’s design by this date. The Final SER represents approval by the NRC staff of our design.
“The completion of Phase 4 of the NRC’s design review certification process is an unprecedented step forward for our company and for the advanced nuclear industry overall,” said NuScale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins. “We appreciate the tremendous effort the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has dedicated to its thorough and rigorous review of our groundbreaking technology thus far. We are thrilled to be entering into the final stages of the NRC’s review process and are looking forward to delivering America’s first small modular nuclear reactor.”
Phases 5 and 6 of the NRC review remain. Phase 5 entails a review by the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). The ACRS is an independent advisor to the NRC that reviews and reports on safety studies and reactor facility license and license renewal applications.
“We appreciate the NRC’s efforts to streamline Phase 5, and we expect that Phase 5 will be completed on or ahead of the original schedule in June 2020,” said NuScale Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Tom Bergman. “Phase 6 is preparation of the Final SER, which will incorporate confirmatory items from the Phase 4 advanced SER, and comments raised by ACRS in Phase 5.”
As NuScale’s first customer, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems is planning a 12-module SMR plant in Idaho slated for operation by the mid-2020s based on the NRC’s certified design. In preparation for its first SMR plant in the U.S., NuScale has also signed MOUs to explore the deployment of its technology in Canada, Jordan, the Czech Republic, and Romania, and similar agreements are being discussed with other potential customers.
NuScale has also taken steps to build out its supply chain in the past year, signing preliminary agreements with companies that will offer technical expertise and will manufacture various components of the reactor. The most recent of these include Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, Ltd. and Sargent and Lundy, both of which provided a cash investment in NuScale.