NuScale selects contractor for first phase in manufacturing SMR

NuScale Power has selected BWX Technologies to begin the engineering work to manufacture its small modular reactor.

In April, NuScale’s SMR became the first to complete the initial phase of design certification by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In preparation for beginning manufacturing of its first SMR, NuScale on Tuesday announced its selection of BWXT to begin the engineering work, which is the first of three steps in the manufacturing process.

In the first phase, BWXT will go through the design of NuScale’s SMR to assess risks and vet the manufacturability of the design and facilitate its successful implementation, NuScale spokeswoman Mariam Nabizad said.

Virginia-based BWXT plans to use Pennsylvania based Precision Custom Components as a component manufacturing contractor on the project.

The second and third phases of the manufacturing process are preparing for fabrication and fabrication. BWXT could be selected to do that work, but that decision has not yet been made, Nabizad said.

The time line for the manufacturing process has not yet been set, Nabizad said, but NuScale expects to have the design certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by September 2020 and have its first SMR in operation in 2026.

NuScale is working with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, which in 2016 identified a site in Idaho for its Carbon Free Power Project, which would deploy 12 NuScale SMRs. NuScale expects the project to be fully installed by 2027.

NuScale says its progress in NRC design certification process and now its beginning of the engineering and manufacturing process makes it the front runner in a global race to manufacture and install the first SMR, a market that the Nuclear Energy Agency has estimated at more than $100 billion by 2035.