Executive Insight, Generation, Nuclear

Westinghouse tests small modular reactor, applies for funding

Westinghouse Electric Co. is making its final preparations to a pair of fuel assemblies before hydraulic testing its small modular reactor (SMR) design at its fuel fabrication center in Columbia, South Carolina. Hydraulic testing of the fuel designs will continue through August 2013.

At the same time, the company, which provides fuel, technology and services to the nuclear power industry, is submitting its proposal to the Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in a federal funding opportunity meant to speed the development and adoption of small modular nuclear reactor technology.

The Westinghouse SMR is a 225 MWe integral pressurized water reactor (PWR), with all primary components located inside of the reactor vessel. It uses passive safety systems, as well as modular construction techniques — many of which are already licensed in the AP1000 reactor — to achieve the highest level of safety and reduced number of components required.