The United States has moved a step closer to building its first small modular nuclear reactor (SMR), after energy giant NuScale selected a contractor to build its facility.
Virginia-based BWX Technologies has been selected to build the first SMR in the US, following an 18-month selection process involving over 80 companies across 10 countries.
The move comes in stark contrast to decisions taken in the UK, where the government has been accused of “crushing” the country’s modular nuclear programme.
Virginia-based BWX Technologies was selected to build NuScale’s modular light water reactor, which will be capable of generating 60MW using scaled down pressurised water reactor technology.
The NuScale SMR is also the first of its kind to undergo a full Design Certification review by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
awarding the contract to a US firm was important to the company.
He said: “BWXT’s established industry experience was important for us, and so was choosing an American company.”
“Our technology will bring immense economic prosperity for people here at home, while improving the quality of life for those all across the world by providing resilient, carbon-free electricity” Hopkins added.
“NuScale’s unique SMR design can be factory-made and offers scalable power based on need. We are excited to work with NuScale to help make their groundbreaking design a reality” said Rex Geveden, BWXT president and chief executive.
Working with Pennsylvania manufacturer Precision Custom Components, BWX will begin work immediately which are due to be completed in June 2020.
NuScale hopes to deploy the first SMRs with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems that same year.
The global SMR market could be worth over $100bn (£76bn) by 2035, according to Nuclear Energy Agency estimates and NuScale faces competition from Russian and Chinese competitors in the race to commercialise SMR technology.
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