Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Westinghouse Pushing for $450 Million in DOE SMR Funding

A number of large nuclear and engineering firms are competing for US DOE funding for development and licensing of a US produced small modular nuclear fission reactor, that can be mass produced for rapid placement and power up. Westinghouse is attempting to join the frontrunners -- such as Babcock and Wilcox, NuScale / Fluor, etc. -- in the hope of achieving a headstart over all the others. The cost of licensing a new reactor in the US exceeds $250 million, and the first licensed factory-produced SMR is likely to achieve a huge advantage.

The Westinghouse SMR is a 225 MWe integral pressurized water reactor (PWR), with all primary components located inside of the reactor vessel. It utilizes passive safety systems and proven components, as well as modular construction techniques – all realized and already licensed in the nuclear industry-leading AP1000® reactor - to achieve the highest level of safety and reduced number of components required. Westinghouse believes that this proven approach will provide licensing, construction and operational certainty that no other SMR supplier can match with competitive economics.

...Department of Energy (DOE) SMR investment funds will be awarded to SMR projects that have the most potential and promise to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and achieve commercial operation by 2022. The cost-share agreements will span a five-year period and, subject to Congressional appropriations, provide a total investment of approximately $900 million, with at least 50 percent provided by private industry. Westinghouse submitted its application to the DOE last Friday, May 18, on behalf of the Ameren Missouri-led NexStart SMR Alliance. The addition of Electric Boat and Burns & McDonnell to the Westinghouse team will further support and provide additional confidence to the Westinghouse SMR Project in its pursuit of the DOE funding opportunity.

Burns & McDonnell, Missouri's oldest and largest engineering firm will provide architectural and engineering support to design the power systems of the class-leading 225 MWe Westinghouse SMR. The company's more than 110 years of experience with all generation types includes an expansive and broad wealth of knowledge and expertise in new plant design, existing plant upgrades, operating plant issues, and design and analysis of myriad complex systems.

Electric Boat has joined the Westinghouse-led team to provide modular design support, leveraging the expertise attained over more than 60 years of nuclear-powered submarine design and manufacturing to the benefit of commercial nuclear programs. Electric Boat's specialized expertise in modular design will facilitate the achievement of factory-build efficiencies never before seen in nuclear energy deployment. _PennEnergy



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