Holtec said in a statement that the CNSC staff concluded that “overall, [Holtec] understands and has correctly interpreted the high-level intent of CNSC’s regulatory requirements for the design of nuclear power plants in Canada pertaining to the scope of the phase one VDR.”
The company said plans to begin the second phase of the voluntary pre-licensing review in the near future.
“As expected, the CNSC identified some areas that require follow-up in phase two of the VDR as the review moves further into the details of the design,” Holtec said, without giving details of any follow-up areas.
“The benefits of this direct engagement are early feedback on the SMR-160 design as it addresses CNSC regulatory requirements and early identification and resolution of potential regulatory or technical issues on the design process,” Holtec said.
Holtec’s SMR subsidiary started phase one of the VDR in mid-2018, addressing the associated 19 focus areas and submitting hundreds of documents over the course of 18 months to support the review.
The SMR-160 is a light-water based pressurised SMR, which generates 160 MWe (525 MWth) and relies on gravity as the workhorse to operate the reactor and the completely passive safety systems.
Holtec said the SMR‑160 is “a universal reactor” because it can be operated in any terrain and is suited to all climates. The risk of any significant radioactivity release under any credible accident scenario has been eliminated and by virtue of its small footprint, an SMR-160 power plant can be readily sited within densely populated metropolitan and industrial locations.
The SMR-160 is adaptable to applications other than generating electricity such as using a fraction of its output steam for an industrial plant. Much of the engineered equipment needed for SMR-160 will be manufactured at Holtec’s advanced manufacturing division in Camden, New Jersey, enabling a significant level of cost certainty. Satellite manufacturing plants in other SMR-160 host countries are also planned, Holtec said.