Nuclear firm with Utah ties selects manufacturer

NuScale Power, a partner with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems in the development of a small modular nuclear reactor project, has selected Virginia-based BWX Technologies, Inc. to start the engineering work to manufacture NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR).

The decision follows a rigorous 18-month selection process, with expressed interest from 83 companies based in 10 countries, to determine the best company to refine NuScale’s design for manufacturability, assembly, and transportability – the first phase in bringing NuScale’s pioneering design to life.

NuScale’s technology is the world’s first and only SMR to undergo Design Certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is the country’s frontrunner to compete in the global SMR race, a market estimated by the Nuclear Energy Agency to be more than $100 billion by 2035. 

NuScale’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, is on track to deploy the country’s first SMR plant in the mid-2020s at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls.

“BWXT’s established industry experience was important for us, and so was choosing an American company,” said John Hopkins, NuScale Power president and CEO. “Our technology will bring immense economic prosperity for people here at home, while improving the quality of life for those all across the world by providing resilient, carbon-free electricity.”

BWXT will immediately start work on this first manufacturing phase of NuScale’s SMR, which is expected to continue through June 2020. NuScale will contract for the remaining two phases, preparation for fabrication, then fabrication, at a later date. BWXT is a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to both the U.S. government and commercial nuclear power industry. It expects to use Pennsylvania-based Precision Custom Components as a component manufacturing contractor on this project. 

“Innovation is a core value at BWXT, and that’s why we are incredibly proud to be selected as a manufacturer for NuScale’s revolutionary technology,” said Rex Geveden, BWXT President and Chief Executive Officer. “NuScale’s unique SMR design can be factory-made and offers scalable power based on need. We are excited to work with NuScale to help make their groundbreaking design a reality.”

NuScale is competing with other countries, including Russia and China, in the global commercialization of SMRs. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, every $1 billion of exports by U.S. companies represents at least 5,000 jobs. The sale of NuScale SMRs would have a significant impact to both the American economy and manufacturing jobs market.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is scheduled to approve NuScale’s Design Certification application in September 2020.

 About NuScale Power. NuScale Power is developing a new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant to supply energy for electrical generation, district heating, desalination, and process heat applications. This groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) design features a fully factory-fabricated NuScale Power Module™ capable of generating 60 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. NuScale’s scalable design – a power plant can house up to 12 individual power modules – offers the benefits of carbon-free energy and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. NuScale is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.