SMR firsts and fanfares

Companies competing for US federal funds to support the development of operational small modular reactors (SMRs) have been keen to report progress in their respective projects, including a first control room simulator and the launch of a fuel technology centre.

NuScale Power is claiming a world first with the commissioning of a control room simulator to model the operation of its SMR design. The full-scale simulator boasts 12 independent work stations, each of which simulates the operation of one SMR module and an associated turbine generator: 12 modules would make up a standard 540MWe power plant. The new simulator scales up a test facility that has been in operation at Oregon State University since 2003.

CEO Paul Lorenzini said the company had “changed the game in commercial nuclear power” with the plant’s inherently safe design and “dramatically” lowered business risk compared to building and operating conventional nuclear power plants.

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