NRC comments on NuScale’s draft application for SMR design

December 6, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

In a letter to NuScale Power, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission responded to the company’s draft standard design approval application (SDAA) for its small modular reactor design by identifying “several challenging and/or significant issues that could be focus areas for the SDAA acceptance and/or safety review.” The letter described the findings of the NRC’s preapplication readiness assessment and recommended NuScale’s “continued engagement” on a number of topics of concern before finalizing the SDAA.

NRC concerns: NuScale’s draft application was for its design of a 77-MWe SMR that the company is developing for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS). The design was originally for a lower-power reactor, but it was uprated in 2020 by an additional 25 percent more power per module for a total of 77 MWe per module (gross), resulting in about 924 MWe for the flagship 12-module power plant, according to news reports. The first of these SMRs is expected to be on line in 2029.

The NRC, which noted in its letter dated November 15 that “several chapters [in the SDAA] are incomplete or have not been updated” since the 2020 design change, listed the following specific topics of concern:

  • Augmented direct current (DC) power system (EDAS) safety classification
  • Comprehensive vibration assessment plan and steam generator tube support
  • Density wave oscillation analysis
  • Containment vessel material/reactor vessel material
  • Loss-of-coolant accident analysis
  • SDA “optimization”

Press report: An article on Utility Dive noted that NuScale would promptly address the agency’s areas of concern.

Update: The original story did not cite the article that included the statement from NuScale. Nuclear Newswire has added the link to the story from Utility Dive that originally published the comments from NuScale.

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