NuScale lines up AREVA to make fuel assemblies for its SMR technology

NuScale Power LLC on Dec. 2 announced that AREVA Inc. has signed a contract to manufacture fuel assemblies for its small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

Under this agreement, AREVA will supply the initial cores for the reactors as well as subsequent reloads. AREVA’s HTP advanced pressurized water reactor fuel has been designed for use in the SMRs currently under development. Mechanical and thermal hydraulic testing of these new fuel assemblies are underway as part of NuScale’s design certification application, which is planned for submission to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late 2016.

“AREVA continues to provide critical support to NuScale as we bring our groundbreaking small modular reactor design to the market,” said Dale Atkinson, NuScale’s chief operating officer and chief nuclear officer. “As a result of this latest agreement, NuScale will be offering our customers nuclear fuel fabricated by AREVA, a firm with a strong reputation of excellence in fuel fabrication.”

“At AREVA, our customers’ needs are the fundamental driver for innovation,” said Ron Land, senior vice president of AREVA’s Fuel business line, U.S. region. “We are proud to utilize the expertise of our teams and their decades of experience and focus on operational excellence to support NuScale in its work in the development of new nuclear technology.”

NuScale Power recently hosted over 230 attendees, including representatives from AREVA, at its NuScale Exposition (also known as NuEx) in Corvallis, Oregon. A notable list of speakers emphasized the important environmental and economic benefits of NuScale’s baseload, carbon-free SMR technology.

NuScale Power is developing a new kind of nuclear plant; a safer, smaller, scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology, designed with natural safety features. Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR), a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power, is the majority investor in NuScale.

As the sole winner of the second round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) competitively-bid, cost-sharing program to develop nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology, NuScale’s design offers the benefits of carbon-free nuclear power but takes away the issues presented by the cost of installing large capacity. A nuclear power plant using NuScale’s technology is comprised of individual NuScale Power Modules, each producing 50 MW (gross) with its own factory-built combined containment vessel and reactor vessel, and its own packaged turbine-generator set. A power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale Power Modules to produce as much as 600 MWe, gross (570 net, nominal, after house loads).

The reactor coolant is driven by natural circulation and can be shut down safely with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no external water supply. NuScale power plants are scalable – additional modules are added as customer demand for electricity increases.

NuScale is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and has offices in Corvallis, OR; Rockville, MD; Charlotte, NC; and Richland, WA.

AREVA combines U.S. and Canadian leadership to supply high added-value products and services to support the operation of the nuclear fleet. Globally, AREVA is present throughout the entire nuclear cycle, from uranium mining to used fuel recycling, including nuclear reactor design and operating services.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.