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NuScale submits design to US authorities to build small nuclear plants in UK by 2025

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January 18
7:03 PM 2016

Fluor Corp.'s NuScale unit recently announced that it could fulfill UK's ambitions to have small modular nuclear plants by 2025. The firm will submit a 50-megawatt reactor design to the U.S. nuclear authorities by the end of 2016.

NuScale seeks approval from the US nuclear authorities, which would allow it to also get the approval of the UK nuclear authority called Generic Design Assessment (GDA), according to Bloomberg News. The GDA is the process where UK nuclear regulators would evaluate whether a nuclear reactor design is stable or not.

"Assuming the GDA is submitted and takes four years, we'd be looking at approval in 2021," said the US company's executive vice president for program development Tom Mundy. "There's then a 36-month construction time, so it's plausible to expect that if all things line up, we could have a U.K. plant built by 2025."

Meanwhile, the Gazette-Times wrote that NuScale and other nuclear facility firms have smaller modular nuclear reactors that are zero-carbon. These can help achieve the carbon reduction goal set during the COP21 conference in Paris. The article stated that the contributions of renewable energies like solar and wind are limited their intermittent characteristics and leaves big environmental footprints.

Small modular nuclear reactors are being considered not only in the UK. In the US, The Bellingham Herald posted a newly completed report that shows smaller modular nuclear reactors could work in Washington state. This is according to Senator Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick. Through the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, the senator got $176,000 worth of funds approved for the project. According to the report, small modular reactors have "the potential for significant improvements in nuclear plant siting associated with cost, safety, permitting schedule, generation flexibility and site requirement."

Meanwhile, Britain is planning to create small modular nuclear plants to create baseload power enough to provide energy for the area as it sets to close down its coal-fired power plants by 2025. This is one of the best options as traditional nuclear power plants are expensive and time consuming, while gas-fired stations proved to be unprofitable.

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