Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction announced on July 24 that it signed a nuclear reactor module supply contract with NuScale Power, an American nuclear power company, with regard to the United States’ first small modular reactor (SMR) project.
The SMR to be produced by NuScale Power requires no separate reactor containment building unlike 1,000 MW to 1,400 MW nuclear reactors, and thus it can be used as a backup renewable energy power source. The contract signing ceremony held in Seoul on July 23 was attended by NuScale Power CEO John Hopkins and Na Ki-yong, head of Doosan’s nuclear power business unit.
NuScale Power is currently working on the SMR in the project led by the United States Department of Energy and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS). The initial commercial operation is scheduled for 2026.
NuScale Power’s SMR is characterized by being capable of supplying electricity with flexibility by adjusting the number of modules in response to power demand. All of its key components such as reactor, steam generator, pressurizer and main piping are incorporated in a reactor container 4.5 m in diameter and 23 m in height. The container is surrounded and protected by a containment vessel and no reactor containment building is required.
The module to be supplied by Doosan is a key part of the SMR and corresponds to a nuclear steam supply system generating steam from a fuel. Doosan’s total supply is estimated to be equivalent to at least US$1.2 billion.
Doosan and NuScale Power signed a stock purchase agreement as well in order to strengthen their strategic partnership. According to the agreement, Doosan and South Korean investors such as IBK Securities will invest US$40 million in NuScale Power within this year. The South Korean companies’ shareholding in the American company will be less than 10 percent with IBK Securities taking up the largest portion.
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s design certification for the SMR is expected in September next year. The 720 MW SMR is slated to incorporate 12 modules, each with an output of 60 MW. Doosan and NuScale Power are planning to keep working together in Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and so on as well as the United States.