Holtec International is pleased to announce that PSEG Power has deepened their commitment to the development of the SMR-160. The Holtec SMR-160 is a pressurized water reactor designed by Holtec’s subsidiary SMR, LLC which employs gravity to cool the core under all operating and accident modes. It is a light water reactor with the reactor, steam generator, and spent fuel pool located inside the containment. The reactor core is located below grade. The Holtec SMR-160 has a rated electrical output of 160 MWe. Under terms of the agreement, PSEG Power will continue to offer their technical expertise, including reactor operations, operator training, procedure development, site safety, regulatory affairs, and security to inform the design from an operations and maintenance perspective. In exchange, PSEG Power has been granted an option to acquire an ownership interest in the technology, which paves the way for PSEG Power to be responsible for the training and operations of the SMR-160 when the new reactor units are built.
We are pleased to confirm that our wholly owned subsidiary, SMR, LLC submitted an application for the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to the DOE on July 1, 2013. The preceding two issues of this news bulletin headlined our strategic alliance with PSEG Power and the MOU with URS on the SMR-160 Development Project. In this issue, we proudly report that two other industry leaders, who were members of our 2012 FOA application, remain committed to the SMR-160 Team — CB&I and South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G).
PSEG Power Joins Team to Advance Design
Holtec International is pleased to announce that on July 1, the Company will submit its request for financial support to the Department of Energy pursuant to the Funding Opportunity Announcement #DE-FOA-0000800 dated March 11, 2013.
Our proposal has been prepared with substantial assistance from PSEG Power, which is New Jersey’s largest power generator and the operator of the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants in the southern part of the state. Under our strategic alliance with PSEG Power, the development of the Design Certification Application for the SMR-160 technology is being directly supported by PSEG Power.
We are pleased to announce that URS Nuclear, a unit of URS Corporation’s (URS) Energy & Construction Division, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Holtec International that gives URS an important role in the development of Holtec’s small modular reactor, the SMR-160. URS is among the largest architect-engineers based in the U.S., with over fifty thousand employees and a long and productive history as an EPC contractor in the global power industry. URS has provided engineering and construction services for the installation of nuclear power generation since the 1960s in the U.S. and abroad through its heritage companies Ebasco, United Engineers & Constructors, and Gibbs & Hill, and pioneered the concept of nuclear contract maintenance and modifications, and large-scale modular construction through predecessor companies Catalytic and Stearns-Roger.
For South Carolina, which is historically among the most nuclear loyal and nuclear savvy states in the union, an active interest in Department of Energy’s announced plans to provide partial funding to eligible SMR developers is quite natural. The state, that has seven operating reactors on its soil and whose Savannah River National Laboratory was at the forefront of America’s nuclear efforts during the Cold War, is now poised to host the rise of the emerging global industry in small modular reactors (SMR). Evidently mindful of the huge pay-off in well-paying jobs and growth of the nuclear technology infrastructure that the selection of the right partner will bring, a mid-state consortium of business groups, academic institutions, and nuclear operators (called “NuHub”) along with statewide counties and chambers of commerce spent nearly two years evaluating the competing SMR technology developers. We are delighted to report that the state government and NuHub along with its allied organizations across the state announced their decision on March 19, 2013, selecting Holtec as their sole SMR supplier. Reinforcing their commitment, NuHub and the coalition of regional institutions along with the State committed to work exclusively with Holtec to help us make our case to the DOE for the R&D funds for our SMR-160. The proposal for the second round federal funding opportunity from the U.S. DOE for small modular reactor (SMR) development is due on July 1, 2013, with the DOE anticipating making award(s) by January 16, 2014.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Marcille to the position of Vice President of Engineering and Chief Nuclear Officer of Holtec’s wholly owned subsidiary, SMR, LLC. Most recently, Tom’s efforts were focused on the development of NuScale Power, a Corvallis, Oregon-based reactor developer, as their VP of Engineering and COO. Tom spent four years building the newly created company from the ground up, serving as its chief technical savant from February 2009 until February 2013 when a reorganization under the Company’s new owner, Fluor Corporation, led to Tom’s separation.
Prior to Tom’s employment at NuScale, he served as Chief Engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory for advanced reactors for five years. Tom helped strengthen the laboratory’s naval reactor program by developing complex nuclear energy solutions, building effective teams and strategic partnerships, spearheading the development of efficient and effective engineering processes and producing a large body of technical work.
As our readers know, one key goal of our small modular reactor program (SMR-160), is to enable the reactor to be sited at water challenged locales. This goal can be met if, and only if, the plant’s exhaust steam can be condensed by air, rather than water. The contemporary Air Cooled Condenser (ACC) technology unfortunately suffers from the critical limitation that the tubes carrying the steam must be made of carbon steel which severely limits the service life of the ACC.
We respect the Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to make only one award at this time from four applications it received in May of this year for the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). We applaud the DOE’s decision to seek additional FOA awardees in another round of solicitation which is consistent with the Department’s role to serve as a catalyst and not a pre-selector of the best technology. Holtec International is hopeful that the Company will merit an award in the second round of DOE’s solicitation on the strength of our reactor’s unrivaled safety features, cost competitiveness, innovative security features, and operational reliability.
We are pleased to announce that the preliminary design details of our small modular reactor, SMR-160, and all essential scoping safety analyses have now been successfully completed. The detailed design phase, scheduled for launching on August 1, 2012, will encompass the development of hundreds of design drawings, scores of reports, and in-depth safety analyses using state-of-the-art computer codes. Only those computer codes that have been quality validated by Holtec in accordance with USNRC’s published guidance will be used. Our engineers are scheduled to brief the USNRC on the key features of SMR-160 on July 26, 2012 at the Agency’s headquarters. Many more in-person interactions with the NRC are planned for the coming months to pave the way for the submittal of the Construction Permit Application and Preliminary Safety Analysis Report in June 2014.
We are pleased to announce that Holtec International’s engineers and scientists have successfully modified the core of the Company’s SMR-160 small modular reactor to increase the cycle life (operating period between successive refuelings) to nearly 4 years from 3-1/2 years previously achieved using a conventional design. The enhanced core design, referred to as “Opti-Core,” was recently filed with the USPTO for worldwide protection of the underlying intellectual property. This design innovation makes SMR-160 the industry leader in terms of the length of the operating cycle. Thanks to the unitary cartridge design of the core, the outage duration is reduced to 5 days. Together, the length of the operating cycle and short outage duration increases SMR-160’s theoretical availability factor (exclusive of any forced outages) to an eye-popping 99.6%!