A small nuclear reactor has received the safety green light from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and can now be used in future projects after authorization and approval.
The “small modular reactor” is designed by NuScale and could facilitate the nuclear energy industry, by reducing financial costs.
This small reactor design can easily be made in factories, and then set up easily, without having to build an expensive and huge single part on-site.
Conventional design yet with great potential.
The small reactor is made up of a steel cylinder 76 feet high (23 meters), and 15 feet wide (4.5 meters), made of steel capable of producing up to 50 megawatts of electricity.
NuScale features 12 of these reactors used in a swimming pool, just like those already existing in nuclear power plants.
The design itself is nothing new: uranium fuel rods are used to heat water in an internal loop. This temperature is then transferred to an external steam loop, through a coil.
And finally, inside the plant, this steam would power a production turbine, cool, and return to the reactors.
What stands out, however, is its small size. This is the first time that an American modular design has reached this stage, according to Popular Mechanics.
As the first small modular reactor in the United States to receive an FSER, NuScale paves the way for new, innovative advanced nuclear technologies said Marc Nichol, director of the new study at the Nuclear Energy Institute.
NuScale was accepted as approval in 2017. The reason it was accepted faster than usual is mainly because of its size. Since it is more self-sufficient and safer than larger, custom-built nuclear reactors, it is safer.
NuScale’s next goal is to design a 60-megawatt version.