ANS Winter Meeting: NuScale CEO on “unfortunate” UAMPS cancellation

November 14, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News


This morning, just ahead of the plenary session “Space: The (Next) Nuclear Frontier,” American Nuclear Society Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy invited John Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale Power, to take the stage. The audience knew Hopkins was there not to announce a new contract or business development, but to answer the spoken and unspoken questions that followed last week’s announcement that the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP)—for years expected to be NuScale’s first operational reactor—had been terminated by mutual agreement of the company and its customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS).

Predictably, media headlines have burbled with doubt about the prospects for nuclear energy because one high-profile contract backed by significant cost-shared funds from the Department of Energy had been cancelled—out of dozens of ongoing projects by NuScale and other reactor developers. But those headlines—and the questions of curious ANS members—deserve a response.

NRC dockets application for updated NuScale design

August 2, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Marking the NRC’s acceptance of NuScale’s standard design approval application for formal review are, left to right, Getachew Tesfaye, NRC senior project manager; Robert Gamble, NuScale vice president of engineering; Brian Smith, NRC director of the Division of New and Renewed Licenses; Carrie Fosaaen, NuScale vice president of regulatory affairs; Karin Feldman, NuScale vice president of the program management office; Robert Taylor, NRC deputy office director for new reactors; and Mark Shaver, NuScale director of regulatory affairs. (Photo: NuScale)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for formal review NuScale Power’s standard design approval (SDA) application for its updated small modular reactor design, the Portland, Ore.–based firm announced yesterday.

Six firms unite for SMR deployment in Central & Eastern Europe

June 16, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
(Photo: Nuclearelectrica)

Six companies—NuScale Power, Romania’s nuclear plant operator Nuclearelectrica, E-Infra, Nova Power & Gas, Fluor Enterprises, and Samsung C&T Corporation—signed a memorandum of understanding on June 13 to collaborate on the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants in Central and Eastern Europe, starting with Romania.

NuScale, Accelerant ally to develop operator training program

June 8, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The NuScale control room simulator has been used to showcase the plant’s design, prototype new displays, and test the operator and supervisor procedures in a fully digital control room. (Photos: NuScale Power)

NuScale Power has signed an agreement with training and consulting firm Accelerant Solutions for the development and implementation of a reactor operator training program, the Portland, Ore.–based small modular reactor developer announced on June 7.

NuScale becomes latest member of Romanian nuclear group

May 25, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

NuScale Power announced yesterday that it has joined the Romanian Atomic Forum, aka Romatom, as a supporting member “to champion the association’s nuclear energy goals and further the next generation of advanced nuclear technology experts, technologists, and operators in Romania.” The move further deepens the American small modular reactor company’s commitment to the deployment of a VOYGR SMR plant in the Central European state.

$275 Million for NuScale VOYGR deployment in Romania announced

May 24, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
President Biden met with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom at the G7 Summit, held May 19–21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Also pictured are representatives of the European Commission and European Council.)

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, over the weekend, the Biden administration and partners Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates announced a public-private commitment of up to $275 million to support the advancement of NuScale Power’s small modular reactor project in Romania.

NuScale, Nucor mull pairing SMR plants with steel mills

May 22, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News
A Nucor electric arc furnace. (Photo: Nucor)

NuScale Power and steel manufacturer Nucor have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants at Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills, the Portland, Ore.–based SMR developer announced Tuesday.

First international NuScale E2 Center opens

May 17, 2023, 7:47AMNuclear News
Officials from the U.S. and Romanian governments, NuScale, and Nuclearelectrica gather at the University Politehnica of Bucharest on May 12 to debut the first NuScale E2 Center in Europe in preparation for the deployment of a VOYGR SMR power plant in Doicești, Romania. (Photo: NuScale Power )

NuScale Power has announced the opening of its fifth Energy Exploration (E2) Center, at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, in support of the small modular reactor developer’s ongoing collaboration with the U.S. and Romanian governments and Nuclearelectrica, operator of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

U.S., Indonesia partner on SMRs

March 28, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News
Dignitaries assemble after the signing of a memorandum of agreement to help Indonesia develop a nuclear energy program. Among those at the signing were Indonesia's minister for economic affairs Airlangga Hartarto, U.S. ambassador to Indonesia Sung Y. Kim, and U.S. Department of State principal deputy assistant secretary Ann Ganzer. (Photo: State Dept./Erik A. Kurniawan)

The United States and Indonesia have announced a strategic partnership to help the latter nation develop its nuclear energy program, supporting its interest in deploying small modular reactors to meet energy security and climate goals.

NRC to start review of NuScale uprated SMR design

March 28, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently announced that it will begin reviewing most of the standard design approval (SDA) application for NuScale Power’s uprated small modular reactor technology, with the remainder of the review on hold until the company provides additional details on a key safety topic.

Final rule certifying NuScale SMR design published

January 20, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

A rendering of a NuScale VOYGR plant. (Image: NuScale Power)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final rule certifying NuScale Power’s small modular reactor design, making the Portland, Ore.–based company’s power module the first SMR design to be certified by the agency (and only the seventh reactor design okayed for use in the United States).

Published in yesterday’s Federal Register, the rule goes into effect on February 21, allowing utilities to reference the NuScale design when applying for a combined license to build and operate a reactor. The design will be incorporated as Appendix G to 10 CFR Part 52, Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.

As noted last July—when the commission voted unanimously to approve the design certification and directed staff to issue the final rule—an application for a nuclear power plant combined license that references a certified design does not need to address any of the issues resolved by the design certification rule. Instead, the combined license application and the NRC’s safety review would address any remaining safety and environmental issues for the proposed plant.

NuScale submits second SDA application to NRC

January 10, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

NuScale Power has announced its submission to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of a standard design approval application for its updated small modular reactor design, which is based on a six-module VOYGR plant configuration powered by an uprated 77-MWe module.

NuScale to begin FEED work for Romanian SMR plant

January 5, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Portland, Ore.–based NuScale Power yesterday announced the signing of a contract with Romania’s RoPower Nuclear for front-end engineering and design (FEED) work that, according to the American company, marks “a significant step toward the deployment of a NuScale VOYGR small modular reactor power plant in Romania.” The contract was signed on December 28.

“There’s going to be a cliff”: Preparing an international SMR supply chain

November 3, 2022, 12:32PMNuclear News
Participating in the forum were (from left) John Hopkins (NuScale Power), Renaud Crassous (EDF), Daniel Poneman (Centrus Energy), Adriana Cristina Serquis (CNEA), and Boris Schucht (Urenco).

The nuclear industry leaders assembled in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss small modular reactor supply chains agreed that lost generation capacity from the expected retirement of hundreds or thousands of coal power plants over the next decade—a cliff, in one panelist’s words—represents an opportunity that developers of SMRs and advanced reactors are competing to meet.

“I think in total 80 projects are ongoing,” said Boris Schucht, panel moderator and chief executive officer of Urenco Group, as he opened the forum. “Of course not all of them will win, and we will discuss today what is needed so that they can be successful.”

NuScale makes further headway with SMR plans for Poland

September 16, 2022, 6:55AMNuclear News
From left: NuScale president and CEO John Hopkins, Poland prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, KGHM CEO Marcin Chludziński, and Ludwik Pieńkowski from AGH University of Science and Technology view a model of NuScale’s SMR technology. (Photo: Business Wire)

Portland, Ore.–based NuScale Power and KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. have signed the first task order and a statement of commencement to begin work under an agreement signed in February to initiate deployment in Poland of NuScale’s small modular reactor technology, the American firm announced this week. The task order was inked September 7 at the 31st Economic Forum, held September 6–8 in Karpacz, Poland.

NuScale signs MOU to explore advanced nuclear in Estonia

August 26, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Artistic rendering of a NuScale nuclear power plant. (Image: NuScale Power)

NuScale Power yesterday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Estonia’s Fermi Energia, a company focused on small modular reactor development to address the Baltic state’s climate and energy security goals.

Under the MOU, Fermi Energia will evaluate the Portland, Ore. – based firm’s small modular reactor design for deployment in Estonia. (There are no nuclear power facilities in Estonia or in the other Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania.)

U.S. to provide $14 million for Romanian SMR study

July 5, 2022, 12:09PMNuclear News

At the recent G7 summit in Germany, President Biden and other world leaders launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment—described by the State Department as an effort “to narrow infrastructure gaps around the world, strengthen the global economy and supply chains, and advance international security through strategic investments.”

NuScale takes next step toward SMR deployment in Romania

May 25, 2022, 3:02PMNuclear News
The first overseas NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center is planned for Romania. (Photo: NuScale)

Small modular reactor developer NuScale Power announced on Monday the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Romania’s Nuclearelectrica to conduct engineering studies, technical reviews, and licensing and permitting activities at a site in Doiceşti, Romania, selected as the preferred location for the deployment of a NuScale VOYGR power plant.