We are pleased to announce that the preliminary design details of our small modular reactor, SMR-160, and all essential scoping safety analyses have now been successfully completed. The detailed design phase, scheduled for launching on August 1, 2012, will encompass the development of hundreds of design drawings, scores of reports, and in-depth safety analyses using state-of-the-art computer codes. Only those computer codes that have been quality validated by Holtec in accordance with USNRC’s published guidance will be used. Our engineers are scheduled to brief the USNRC on the key features of SMR-160 on July 26, 2012 at the Agency’s headquarters. Many more in-person interactions with the NRC are planned for the coming months to pave the way for the submittal of the Construction Permit Application and Preliminary Safety Analysis Report in June 2014.

As was reported in March (Holtec Highlights HH 27.01), the U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to host the first SMR-160 at its sprawling Savannah River National Laboratory site that has the proud record of having served as a bastion of the nation’s atomic defense program during the cold war years. In a happy twist of history, if all goes as planned, the same national laboratory where the weapons grade fissile material was produced during the cold war will burn it as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel to generate electricity in our SMR-160. Siting studies for building the first SMR-160 at the Savannah River facility have begun.

“Simplicity is the mother of safety and reliability”, says Dr. Kris Singh, Holtec’s President and CEO, adding, “We have conscientiously sacrificed some thermodynamic efficiency in favor of safety and simplicity. Hopefully, we will shortly offer SMR-160 to the world as the supremely safe embodiment of nuclear energy that cannot be subverted even by a rogue operator. We must erase the fear of an accident from the minds of people to enable nuclear energy to emerge as the universally welcomed font of bounteous clean energy. We hope to offer up SMR-160 as our industry’s ambassador of un-compromised safety, which is poised to help illuminate even the darkest corners of the globe with affordable electricity.”

Please see the brochure on SMR-160, attached to this issue, which provides a concise summary of the mission and attributes of SMR-160.