NuScale small modular reactor gets NRC approval of HIPS platform

NuScale Power said the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently concluded the highly integrated protection system is acceptable for use in plant safety-related instrumentation and control systems.

The HIPS Platform is a protection system architecture jointly developed by NuScale Power and Rock Creek Innovations. The HIPS platform is based on the fundamental I&C design principles of independence, redundancy, predictability and repeatability, and diversity and defense-in-depth.

The HIPS platform is comprised of just four module types which can be interconnected to implement multiple configurations to support various types of reactor safety systems. It also uses field programmable gate array technology that is not vulnerable to internet cyber attacks.

NuScale is using the HIPS platform for its module protection system (safety I&C platform), contributing to the NuScale small modular reactor‘s (SMR’s) unprecedented level of safety.

Chief Operating Officer Dale Atkinson stated, “NuScale is pleased to have received this important regulatory approval as it is a major step toward successful completion of the NRC design certification”.

The HIPS platform was co-designed over a period of six years in a collaborative effort between NuScale and Rock Creek Innovations of Waverly, Kansas.

“We are proud to have had the opportunity to partner with an innovative company like NuScale and create a safety I&C platform which complements the simple and elegant design of the NuScale SMR”, said Gregg Clarkson, President of Rock Creek Innovations.

Earlier this year, a working prototype of the HIPS platform was installed and tested in the NuScale simulator in Corvallis, Oregon.  The prototype was designed and manufactured by NuScale strategic partner Ultra Electronics.

“Ultra is proud and excited to be partnered with NuScale in providing the detail design for the HIPS architecture”, said Nick Gaines, Managing Director of Ultra Electronics, Nuclear Control Systems.

The first commercial NuScale power plant is planned for construction on the site of the Idaho National Laboratory for the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and operated by experienced operator Energy Northwest.

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