GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced that it continues to make significant progress in its efforts to license the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) in the U.S.
On Jan. 12 the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) for the second of five licensing topical reports (LTRs) that have been submitted for the BWRX-300. On Feb. 3 the NRC Advisory Committee for Reactor Safeguards approved a third LTR. GEH anticipates that an FSER will be issued for this LTR in the coming weeks. Two additional LTRs were submitted in 2020 and are currently under review.
“These licensing topical reports address the most significant innovative design features of the BWRX-300 SMR,” said Jon Ball, Executive Vice President of Nuclear Products for GEH. “This licensing effort further advances the commercialization of the BWRX-300 as we work to make the first grid-scale SMR operational later this decade.”
GEH expects these safety related LTRs to serve as a foundation for the development of a Preliminary Safety Analysis Report that could potentially be submitted to the NRC by a utility customer.
The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic and innovative design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared to other SMR designs.
By leveraging the existing ESBWR design certification, utilizing the licensed and proven GNF2 fuel design, and incorporating proven components and supply chain expertise the BWRX-300 can, GEH believes, become the lowest-risk, most cost-competitive and quickest to market SMR.