NuScale to build small modular nuke at Savannah River

Discussion in 'In the News' started by herm, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] Small & safe modular nuclear reactors.

    [FIMG=LEFT][/FIMG]Herm Perez - CleanMPG - March 7, 2012

    Will NuScale win the race or Hyperion?

    NuScale competes with the Hyperion and mPower reactors at Savannah.

    NuScale, Savannah River Sign Agreement to Support SMR Plant Development

    NuScale Power, said it views its recently signed Memorandum of Agreement with the Savannah River Site (SRS) and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) as further demonstration of the US Department of Energy’s commitment to commercialize American-designed small modular nuclear power plants.

    U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu: “The Obama Administration continues to believe that low-carbon nuclear energy has an important role to play in America’s energy future. We are committed to restarting the nation’s nuclear industry and advancing the next generation of these technologies, helping to create new jobs and export opportunities for American workers and businesses.”

    In addition to the MOA, the USDOE recently announced a five year cost-share program to accelerate the commercial deployment of SMRs. McGough said NuScale intends to compete aggressively to be one of two SMR technologies selected by USDOE. “NuScale’s technology is the most mature of the SMR designs with more than a decade of design, engineering and testing behind it. We look forward to working with the DOE and Savannah River to reestablish US leadership in nuclear energy technology that can be exported to a world-wide market that is hungry for the benefits of clean, safe, inexpensive electricity generated by NuScale Power modules."

    NuScale Power is in the business of developing an inherently safe, modular, scalable commercial nuclear power technology. NuScale’s design offers the benefits of carbon-free nuclear power but takes away the issues presented by installing large capacity. A nuclear power plant using NuScale’s technology is comprised of individual NSSS modules; each produces 45 megawatts of electricity with its own combined containment vessel and reactor system, and its own designated turbine-generator set. A power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale integral PWR modules to produce as much as 540 megawatts. NuScale power plants are scalable – additional modules are added as customer demand for electricity increases. These multi-module plants are highly reliable – one unit can be taken out of service for refueling or maintenance, or a new unit added, without affecting the operation of the others.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    This is great stuff. I am glad to see someone embracing nuclear power and developing safer plants. This can be a bridge to sustainable energy.
  3. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    heck yeah.. and the best part is that thing fits in the back of an 18 wheeler.
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Good article at wiki:

    "Thermal capacity – 160 MWth
    Electrical capacity – 45 MWe
    Capacity factor – 90 percent
    Dimensions – 18 x 4.3 meters cylindrical containment vessel module containing reactor and steam generator
    Weight – ~ 500 tons as shipped from fabrication
    Transportation – Barge, truck or train
    Manufacturing – Can be forged and fabricated at any mid-size facility
    Cost – Numerous advantages due to simplicity, modular design, volume manufacturing and shorter construction times
    Fuel – Standard LWR fuel in 17 x 17 configuration, each assembly 6 feet in length; 24-month refueling cycle with fuel enriched less than 4.95 percent"

    The long narrow reactor uses natural convection water flow to cool the core, similar to a percolator coffee maker, no pumps.. the core is in a stainless steel shell, the containment is another stainless steel shell and the whole thing is suspended in a concrete lined well filled with water.. open at the top in case the water boils. Another nice thing is that you dont have to shut down the whole nuclear plant to refuel one of these.. it can be an ongoing process with the same small team of people. Refueling a conventional Nuke is complex logistical nightmare.. and meanwhile the owners are complaining about lost revenue.

  5. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Seems like very poor efficiency for the turbine (28%). Many of the multistage steam turbines in use at most power stations approach 50% efficiency. I think Siemens makes a steam turbine for low-heat geothermal steam that's 30% efficient. I would think that a turbine optimized for the very hot steam reactors make would do better.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jay:

    "Thermal" efficiency of the entire "steam plant" cycle whether fired by coal, Nuclear and even NG at ~ 30% is very normal since you cannot use the vast quantity of low quality heat removed from the condenser via circ water at 80 to 110 degree F exit.

    NG burned to spin a turbine attached to a generator is a different animal.

  7. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    30% is normal for a nuke, the energy in the uranium is practically free, and even spent fuel retains 96% of the original uranium and awaits to be reprocessed and purified, thus you dont need to go to extremes. Fancy coal plants can be be around 60% since they are designed to provide constant baseload, NG turbines are usually in the 30s if they are designed as fast peaker plants.. but all this will change since there is such a glut of NG driving away the use of coal, if the vast supplies of NG turn out to be real.

    Its possible these small nukes can be throttled to follow load.. perhaps the Hyperion design will achieve higher steam efficiency since it uses molten lead as a coolant, and runs at much higher temperatures, it may even use CO2 as a working fluid instead of steam.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012

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