NuScale Commissions First Small Modular Reactor Control Room Simulator – Another First for the SMR Pioneer

NuScale Commissions First Small Modular Reactor Control Room Simulator – Another First for the SMR Pioneer

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 5:08 am PDT
"NuScale’s first-mover status has allowed the company to set the standard for small modular reactors"

NuScale Power LLC has commissioned the world’s first small modular reactor (SMR) control room simulator to model the operation of its inherently safe nuclear power plant design.

The simulator serves as a virtual nuclear power plant control room that allows NuScale to evaluate different approaches to the design and operation of a power plant using its technology. The control room simulator has 12 independent work stations each dedicated to simulating the operation of a NuScale SMR module and a turbine generator used to generate electricity.

NuScale is pursuing U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval for the design of its SMR and for a power plant containing 12 NuScale modules capable of producing 540,000 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power a city of one-half million people.

Commissioning of the full-scale simulator marked the latest first for the NuScale team, which established the concept for its SMR more than a decade ago. A one-third scale, electrically-heated test facility that replicates the thermo-hydraulic performance at Oregon State University also was the first of its kind for an SMR when it began operation in 2003. The test facility has allowed NuScale to both verify and validate the inherent safety in its design. The design requires no forced mechanical systems to operate or to shut down safely.

“NuScale’s first-mover status has allowed the company to set the standard for small modular reactors,” said Paul Lorenzini, chief executive officer. “NuScale established the first operational test facility, the first regulatory interactions, the first customer advisory board, and now the first full-scale control room simulator.”

More than 200 people are at work on the engineering and design for NuScale’s technology. The U.S. Department of Energy is evaluating a proposal from NuScale to match as much as $226 million of the company’s costs associated with the licensing and engineering associated with securing NRC approval for the technology and for the first power plant. DOE originally funded the concept that led to the NuScale design.

“With an inherently safe design and an option that dramatically lowers the business risk associated with building and operating a nuclear power plant, NuScale has changed the game in commercial nuclear power,” Lorenzini said. “We believe NuScale’s technology can restore global U.S. leadership in nuclear power and create an industry that will result in thousands of high quality jobs in Oregon and across the country.”

About NuScale Power, LLC

NuScale Power, LLC is 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 the cost of installing large capacity. A nuclear power plant using NuScale’s technology is comprised of individual nuclear power 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. The reactors are cooled by natural convection of water, requiring no pumps in event of a shutdown. For more information visit:


NuScale Power LLC