Small Modular Reactors
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional reactors. The term “small” in the context of SMRs refers to design power output.
Small modular reactors have a power output of less than 300 MWe. The term “modular” in the context of SMRs refers to its scalability and to the ability to fabricate major components of the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) in a factory environment and then transported them to the site.
See also: www.nuclear-power.com
Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation – Micro-Modular Reactor
The Micro Modular Reactor (MMR®) system is a 5MWe 4th Generation nuclear energy system that delivers safe, clean, and cost-effective electricity and heat to remote mines, industry, and communities. Helium gas is the MMR® reactor’s primary coolant. The MMR® reactor is fueled once for its lifetime. A fuel cartridge is rated at 20 years of full power.
Here are some key characteristics of the USNC MMR:
- Size and power output: The USNC MMR is a small modular reactor with a thermal capacity of 15 MW and an electrical output of 4 MW.
- Advanced fuel technology: The USNC MMR uses a Triso (tristructural isotropic) fuel design, which consists of small particles of uranium fuel coated with multiple layers of ceramic material for enhanced safety and fuel efficiency.
- Passive safety systems: The USNC MMR incorporates several passive safety systems, including a gravity-driven cooling system that can operate without external power or human intervention, and a containment system that can prevent the release of radioactive material in the event of an accident.
- Scalable design: The USNC MMR is designed to be scalable, allowing multiple units to be deployed in a single facility to meet varying energy demands.
- Flexible deployment: The USNC MMR can be deployed in a variety of settings, including remote communities, industrial sites, and military bases.
- Reduced waste generation: The USNC MMR generates less radioactive waste compared to traditional light water reactors, due to its advanced fuel design and high fuel burnup.
- Regulatory approval: In March 2020, the USNC MMR was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to receive funding for the development of a demonstration unit, and in December 2020, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved USNC’s application for a design certification for the MMR, making it the first advanced reactor to receive such approval from the NRC.
The USNC MMR is still in the design and development phase, with plans to build a demonstration unit in the mid-2020s.