NuScale’s 50-megawatt reactor is tiny compared with conventional reactors and would generate a twentieth of the electricity. But because it is small, it would contain much less fuel and much less energy — and therefore could be operated with much less risk. It is designed as a modular unit that could be built in a factory, shipped by truck and put in place much like an ink cartridge is clipped into a printer. Power plants could activate one reactor and generate revenue as they install the next. In January, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled that the design of the NuScale reactor — which relies on air circulation for cooling — is so safe that it does not need the expensive emergency pumps and backup electrical systems required of big conventional reactors. The decision brings NuScale closer than any company in decades to gaining a license to operate an entirely new reactor design in the U.S. for commercial use.
LA Times 1st Feb 2018 read more »