Aiken, S.C., October 27, 2010 — GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the potential of deploying a prototype of GEH’s Generation IV PRISM reactor as part of a proposed demonstration of small modular reactor technologies at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site.
The MOU sets the stage for continued discussions on the potential NRC licensing and deployment of a 299-MW PRISM reactor at the federally owned facility. SRNS is the management and operating contractor for DOE at Savannah River Site.
“This is another step that can put SRS and the region in an important role toward transforming America’s energy future,” said Garry Flowers, president and CEO of SRNS. “We are very pleased to collaborate with GEH to determine the suitability of deploying a prototype Generation IV PRISM reactor at SRS. We believe that SRS is an ideal place to demonstrate the PRISM reactor design as it, and other next generation, small modular reactors, are being considered for the future.”
The PRISM reactor design, which completed U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission pre-application reviews in 1994, is an advanced, Generation IV reactor technology that builds on our nation’s research and development of sodium cooled reactors. A key attribute of PRISM technology is that it generates additional electricity from recycling used nuclear fuel.
“Working with SRNS towards the possibility of implementing our Generation IV PRISM reactor design is a major step,” said Caroline Reda, president and CEO of GEH. “We look forward to continuing discussions with SRNS on advanced modular reactor technologies, especially if they help the U.S. to maintain its global leadership role in nuclear technology.”
SRNS has been actively working with industry and stakeholder groups on the development of energy security initiatives for DOE to consider at SRS. “We think PRISM can be ideally suited to support one of the SRNS initiatives, as PRISM technology has the potential to address many of the nuclear fuel challenges we face today,” Reda said.