NuScale small nuclear reactor design certified for use in U.S.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has certified the design for what will be the United States’ first small modular nuclear reactor.
The rule that certifies the design was published Thursday in the Federal Register. It means that companies seeking to build and operate a nuclear power plant can pick the design for a 50-megawatt, advanced light-water small modular nuclear reactor by Oregon-based NuScale Power and apply to the NRC for a license.
It’s the final determination that the design is acceptable for use, so it can’t be legally challenged during the licensing process when someone applies to build and operate a nuclear power plant, NRC spokesperson Scott Burnell said Friday. The rule becomes effective in late February.
The U.S. Energy Department said the newly approved design “equips the nation with a new clean power source to help drive down” planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s the seventh nuclear reactor design cleared for use in the United States. The rest are for traditional, large, light-water reactors.
Diane Hughes, NuScale’s vice president of marketing and communications, said the design certification is a historic step forward toward a clean energy future and makes the company’s VOYGR power plant a near-term deployable solution for customers.