February 15, 2011

Westinghouse has a new 200 megawatt nuclear reactor design

Westinghouse has announced a new 200 MW Small Modular Reactor It is only a pressure water reactor so it is not as advanced as some other reactor proposals but it could in theory be more easily licensed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). However, the NRC is dysfunctional and has not certified any new reactor types in its decades of existence. Reactors that are allowed by the NRC

Currently there are four certified reactor designs that can be referenced in an application for a combined license (COL) to build and operate a nuclear power plant. They are:

   1. Advanced Boiling Water Reactor design by GE Nuclear Energy (May 1997);
   2. System 80+ design by Westinghouse (formerly ABB-Combustion Engineering) (May 1997);
   3. AP600 design by Westinghouse (December 1999); and
   4. AP1000 design by Westinghouse (January 2006).

The certified reactors are all variations on prior versions.

The Westinghouse SMR is a 200 MWe class, integral pressurized water reactor with all primary components located inside the reactor vessel. Passive safety systems and proven components – realized in the industry-leading AP1000® reactor design – are incorporated throughout to achieve the highest levels of safety and to reduce the number of components required. The Westinghouse SMR is fueled by an adaptation of our Westinghouse fuel design, the industry’s most proven and widely-used fuel design. It also leverages the latest U.S. NRC-licensed safety and security features.

Integration into reactor vessel head eliminates the need for a separate component

Reactor Coolant Pumps
Proven, horizontally-mounted axial-flow canned motor pumps provide the driving head for the reactor coolant system while eliminating the need for pump seal injection

Reactor Core
Partial-height derivative of the 17x17 fuel assembly design used in the AP1000® reactor

Reactor Vessel Internals
Based on the AP1000® design, the reactor vessel internals are modified for the smaller core and to provide support for the internal control drive rod mechanisms

Steam Generator
Achieves a compact physical envelope with an innovative approach to steam

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