Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Westinghouse’s small modular reactor can power 300,000 homes

An American manufacturing company, Westinghouse, has announced the development of the Westinghouse AP300 Small Modular Reactor, which they say is the most advanced, proven, and readily deployable SMR solution.

The new reactor is scaled from the company’s flagship AP1000 reactor. The advanced AP1000 reactor is already proving itself around the world. Currently, four units utilizing AP1000 technology in China are setting performance records, while six more are under construction. One AP1000 reactor is operating at Plant Vogtle in Georgia while a second nears completion.

The AP300 SMR is an ultra-compact, modular-constructed unit that leverages the innovation and operational knowledge of the global AP1000 fleet. It will utilize identical AP1000 technology to include major equipment, structural components, passive safety, proven fuel, and I&C systems.

The company’s advanced passive safety system automatically achieves safe shutdown without operator action and eliminates the need for backup power and cooling supply. This also directly translates into a simplified design and smaller footprints. Like the AP1000, the AP300 is designed to operate for more than an 80-year life cycle.

The new reactor will generate about one-third of the power of the flagship AP1000 reactor. It will generate approximately 300 MW of energy, compared to the AP1000’s 1,200 megawatts, and will power approximately 300,000 homes.

The AP300 SMR offers reliable, safe, and clean electricity and additional applications for district heating and water desalination. Its fast load-follow capabilities make it ideally suited for integration with renewable resources. It will also pave the way toward the hydrogen economy by enabling cost-effective, clean production of hydrogen integrated with the plant.

The Small Modular Reactor aims to be available in 2027, followed by site-specific licensing and construction on the first unit toward the end of the decade. It is expected to cost about $1 billion to set up each plant, a small fraction of the expense of the full AP1000.

“The AP300 is the only small modular reactor offering available that is based on deployed, operating and advanced reactor technology,” said Patrick Fragman, President and CEO of Westinghouse. “The launch of the AP300 SMR rounds out the Westinghouse portfolio of reactor technology, allowing us to deliver on the full needs of our customers globally, with a clear line of sight on the schedule of delivery and economics.”