Advancing the Commercialization of Small Modular Reactors

Advancing the
Commercialization of
Small Modular Reactors
Michael Kurth
American Nuclear Society & Washington Internship for
Students of Engineering
Benefits of Nuclear Power
• Environmental Benefits
• Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• Comparable life cycle emissions to renewables
• Base-load Power
• Capability to provide constant power
• Energy Diversity
• All of the Above Energy Strategy to Mitigate Fluctuations in
Energy Pricing
• Nonproliferation
• Strong Domestic Nuclear Program Positively Affects
Nonproliferation Issues Abroad
4 Domestic Light Water SMRs
Integral Pressurized Water Reactor
• One Design
• 3 Designs
Pressurized Water
Reactor (PWR)
Economic Advantages of SMRs
over traditional nuclear power
• Reduced Capital Costs
• Larger Nuclear Power Plants can cost as much as 90% of the
average annual revenues of a investor owned utility
• More Utilities can use Nuclear
• Reduced Construction Times
• Leads to Faster Return on Investment
• Modular
• Allows Generation Capability to be Added Incrementally as
Demand Increases
Advantages of SMRs over
traditional nuclear power
• Safety
• NuScale’s Indefinite Cooling Scheme
Advantages of SMRs over
traditional nuclear power
• Underground Containment
Advantages of SMRs over
traditional nuclear power
• Transportability
Possible Areas of SMR
Replacing Older Coal Plants Size and Emissions
Near Population Centers
Remote Locations
Higher Energy Prices, Lack
of Large Grid
Too Small and Security
Government Facilities
Long Term Power Purchase
Agreements, Goals on
Emission Reductions
Foreign Exports
Large Growing Demand,
Developing Countries,
Lack of Infrastructure,
Roadblocks to SMR
• Economic Issues
Economy of Scale
Economy of Mass Production
Roadblocks to SMR
• Licensing Issues
• Security Staffing
• Operator Staffing
• Emergency Planning
Roadblocks to SMR
• Export Process
Program in Place to Assist in
SMR deployment
• DOE Funding Program
• 2012 Initiated a 5 year 452 Million Dollar Program
• Focused on design certification and licensing, but not construction
• B&W Received first award for $150 million
• Expected Deployment in 2022
• 2013 Initiated a Second Round of SMR Funding
• Extended Timeline to 2025
• Received applications from other three vendors
• Focuses on innovation and design certification
Additional Assistance and
Policies Needed to Promote
Successful Commercialization
• Domestic Policies
• Increase DOE Funding to Initial Announcement Levels
• $150 million awarded to B&W increased to $226 million
• Extend Timeline for Advanced Energy Credits for Manufacturers
• Timeline is currently too short to properly allow for SMR
manufacturing facility to take advantage of program
• Government Facilities Act as a ‘First Mover’
• Power Purchase Agreements Allow Utilities to substantially reduce
Additional Assistance and
Policies Needed to Promote
Successful Commercialization
• Export Policies
• Allow 123 Agreements to be made case by case
• There are factions calling for all 123 Agreements to require identical
terms regarding reprocessing and enrichment capabilities
• DOE modifications of Part 810
• Continue discussions with industry to ensure specific and
appropriate scope of Part 810
• Create a Transparent Export Process
• DOE does not have a modern system to follow the progress of export
• Nuclear Energy has environmental, energy diversity, and
nonproliferation positive effects
• SMRs have added benefits over traditional nuclear power, which
include added safety, reduced capital costs, and modularity
• There are several marketplaces that have potential for SMRs but
also have issues that must be overcome
• Due to the nature of the economy of SMRs measures must be put in
place to help assist with the initial lack of cost competitiveness
• The Licensing Issues are in many cases onetime costs and the DOE
should continue its support of resolution
• The Export process should be streamlined and modernized to ensure
timely deployment of SMR exports in the face of international

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