Paul Lorenzini and Jose Reyes of NuScale Power chat about their company’s 45 MWe natural circulation light water reactor.
This episode sponsored by Entergy Nuclear.
Imagine – a traditional utility company far sighted enough to invest advertising dollars in the Atomic Show Podcast!
One of the more exciting developments in the nuclear industry is the growing recognition that one size does not fit all, especially if that size is – to use the words of Al Gore – “extra large”. In many markets, 1200-1600 MWe units simply are not a good match for the power needs or the grid capacity.
NuScale Power is a new, venture funded company that has developed a product designed to address that issue. Paul Lorenzini is a former PacificCorp president who came out of retirement to help lead the company and provide the business expertise. Jose Reyes is the company’s Chief Technical Officer who has been working on the product development for about 8 years. I reached them in their office at 6:00 pm on a Friday evening – after a very busy week.
The company’s 45 MWe natural circulation nuclear heat source grew out of a Department of Energy funded project originally known as the Multi-Application Small Light Water Reactor (MASLWR) at Oregon State University in partnership with the Idaho National Laboratory and Nexant Inc. That project, funded under the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative, lasted from 2000-2003. The DOE issued a final report and moved on.
Even though the federal funding stopped at that point, the university recognized that they had something worth pursuing. The system will produce only about 1/30th as much power as a large light water reactor. Its advantage is that it produces power with a greatly simplified system that has no valves, pumps or external piping systems. It operates at temperatures and pressures that are familiar in the industry, uses fuel that can be manufactured on the same lines as conventional reactor fuel, and uses conventional pressure vessel technology that is small enough to be produced in a number of qualified factories.
One key feature of this small reactor is that it will be completely assembled in a factory and shipped to the site ready for installation.
Have a listen. For more information about small reactors, please visit some or all of the following articles:
- NuScale Power and Hyperion Power Generation – Nuclear Power Systems That Are Not “Extra Large”
- More small reactor discussions
- Small reactors have NRC’s attention
- Small reactors seek market share
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