Dan Yurman has interviewed the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of NuScale Power, Jose Reyes. NuScale designs and markets small modular reactors (SMRs). Its NuScale Power Module can generate 60 MW: small units, alone or combined, can suit a far wider range of energy demand than standard reactors that deliver hundreds of MWs at a minimum. The comprehensive interview covers international and U.S. developments, including plans to commence site preparation in 2021 for NuScale’s first customer, UAMPS. Romania, the UK, Jordan and Canada all feature. Reyes talks about regulatory compliance, supply chains, jobs, R&D, fuel supply and safe disposal. As the nuclear industry continues to make its case for a greater contribution to the energy transition, can the SMR help meet that goal?
We give you a summary of the main points made in the interview. A link to the full interview is given at the end.
Jose N. Reyes, Ph.D., is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of NuScale Power, and the co-designer of the NuScale passively-cooled small nuclear reactor. He agreed to do an interview by email with the Neutron Bytes blog.
This is one of the more lengthy interviews that Reyes has done recently with the nuclear trade press. The link to the complete set of questions and his answers are given at the end.
Romania – NuScale signed an MOU with Romania to address development, licensing and construction of a NuScale SMR for a potential long-term energy solution in Romania.
UK – The focus is on development of the supply chain and high value manufacturing. The UK represents a valuable opportunity for NuScale to transform the country into an export hub, capturing significant share of a lucrative future global SMR market.
Jordan – NuScale could be a game-changer with this technology for Jordan. Its small footprint, low cost, minimal needs for cooling water compared to a 1000 MW Russian VVER, all work to its advantage there.
Canada – NuScale has signed a service agreement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to submit an application under the CNSC’s Vendor Design Review process in 2019. NuScale expects to make its first submittal by the end of 2019.
U.S. regulatory compliance, supply chain, jobs
NRC design review, operational date – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) review is expected to be completed in September 2020. NuScale’s first customer, UAMPS, plans to commence site preparation in 2021. Nuclear construction (i.e., first safety related concrete) will commence in 2023 with the first module operational by late 2026. The full 12-module plant will be operational by 2027.
Supply Chain in the US – Multiple vendors are onboard. The supply chain for NuScale’s technology largely resides in the United States and could potentially support 13,500 jobs across the country (based on manufacturing three, 12-module plants per year).
Nuclear Fuel – The fuel bundle materials and low enriched fuel are identical to those currently used in full size PWRs.
Spent Fuel – All of the spent fuel generated by all 12 modules over the 60-year life of the plant can be safely stored in dry casks onsite within a relatively small footprint.
Nuclear energy R&D using NuScale’s reactors – The Department of Energy’s INL to explore the potential for secure, hardened microgrids and the use of nuclear energy beyond the electricity sector, including applications that could contribute to economic growth and national security.
Jose Reyes bio
Jose N. Reyes, Ph.D., is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of NuScale Power, and the co-designer of the NuScale passively-cooled small nuclear reactor. He has served as a technical expert at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and as an engineer with the Reactor Safety Division of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). He is Professor Emeritus in the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Oregon State University, where he taught for more than 30 years and served as head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics.
These are the highlights. Click here for a link to the full interview.
Dan Yurman is the author of Neutron Bytes and writes on nuclear matters.