Small Modular Reactors

SMR Development / GEH Announced Progress On BWRX-300 Vendor Design Review In Canada

By Kamen Kraev
26 February 2020

GEH Announced Progress On BWRX-300 Vendor Design Review In Canada
US-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has submitted the first documents for its BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) design to the vendor design review (VDR) process of the Canadian nuclear regulator, a statement by the US company said.

The statement said the submitted documentation to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is for the combined phase 1 and 2 of the review and addresses eight of the 19 VDR focus areas, including general plant description, control system and facilities, research and development, and design process.

In May 2019, GEH initiated the VDR in Canada for the BWRX-300. The review will focus on identifying any issues that could become fundamental barriers in a licensing process for a possible new-build project in Canada.

GEH said the VDR is an optional service by the CNSC to provide early feedback during the design process. The objective is to verify whether a plant design meets Canadian nuclear regulatory requirements at a pre-licensing stage.

The BWRX-300 is a 300-MW SMR derived from GEH’s 1,520 MW Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design. According to GEH, the BWRX-300 leverages the design and licensing basis of the ESBWR, which received design certification in the US in 2014.

GEH said it had used “dramatic design simplification” to result in the BWRX-300 requiring up to 60% less capital cost per MW when compared to other water-cooled SMRs or existing large nuclear reactor designs. Compared with the ESBWR, the BWRX-300 would use 50% less concrete and steel on a per MW basis.

The company said it believes that the BWRX-300 can become cost-competitive with power generation from combined cycle gas and renewables.

Last month, GEH officially started the regulatory licensing process for the SMR with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission – a move then described as a “significant milestone” in potentially commercialising the technology as early as 2028.

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