Westinghouse submits eVinci microreactor plan to NRC

December 16, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

Westinghouse Electric Company has filed a pre-application regulatory engagement plan (REP) with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its eVinci microreactor, the company announced on Tuesday.

An REP, according to the NRC, is a tool for enhancing communication between a prospective applicant and agency staff and can be used to document agreements between the two regarding licensing approach, resolution of issues, and schedule expectations, among other topics.

In a letter accompanying its REP, Westinghouse states: “The enclosed plan includes information on the basic design of the eVinci microreactor as well as the regulatory strategies envisioned, including design, manufacturing, and transportation phases of deployment. The plan includes our proposal of key topic areas that we would like to address through pre-application interactions to allow both Westinghouse and the NRC to determine the most effective means to license the advanced eVinci microreactor design. Through these interactions, Westinghouse will continue to update the NRC of our deployment plans as they evolve.”

The technology: Westinghouse describes the eVinci as “essentially a small battery for decentralized generation markets and for microgrids, such as remote communities, remote industrial mines, and critical infrastructure.”

According to the company, key attributes of the eVinci microreactor include the following:

■ Transportable energy generator

■ Fully factory built, fueled, and assembled

■ 1 MWe to 5 MWe combined heat and power

■ 40-year design life, with three-plus year refueling interval

■ Target of less than 30 days on-site installation

■ Autonomous operation

■ Power demand load following capability

■ Minimal moving parts

■ Near zero emergency planning zone with small site footprint

In case you missed it: A recently completed feasibility study by Westinghouse and Bruce Power concluded that the eVinci microreactor is capable of providing cost-competitive clean energy to decentralized, off-grid markets in Canada. The study focuses on key market opportunities, including remote communities and industrial mines, and identifies benefits the Westinghouse technology could provide in support of the Canadian government’s decarbonization goals.

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