We are pleased to announce that Holtec International’s engineers and scientists have successfully modified the core of the Company’s SMR-160 small modular reactor to increase the cycle life (operating period between successive refuelings) to nearly 4 years from 3-1/2 years previously achieved using a conventional design. The enhanced core design, referred to as “Opti-Core,” was recently filed with the USPTO for worldwide protection of the underlying intellectual property. This design innovation makes SMR-160 the industry leader in terms of the length of the operating cycle. Thanks to the unitary cartridge design of the core, the outage duration is reduced to 5 days. Together, the length of the operating cycle and short outage duration increases SMR-160’s theoretical availability factor (exclusive of any forced outages) to an eye-popping 99.6%!
We are pleased to announce the license application for securing the general certification of the HI-STORM UMAX, multi-purpose canister based storage system, was submitted to the USNRC last Friday, June 29, 2012. Engineered to store used fuel canisters in a below-grade configuration, HI-STORM UMAX is anatomically similar to the previously licensed HI-STORM 100U system, the development of which was prompted by the beyond-the-design-basis-threats in the wake of 9/11. HI-STORM UMAX is a larger version of HI-STORM 100U, with enhanced air circulation features and an increased cavity diameter to permit storage of any canister thus far in use at any site in the US.
The press conference called by the Commerce Department of the State of South Carolina was addressed by the State’s Governor, The Honorable Nikki Haley, Holtec’s President and CEO, Dr. Kris Singh, SCE&G’s COO, Mr. Steve Byrne, AREVA’s (U.S.) CEO Mr. Michael Rencheck, Columbia Mayor, Mr. Steve Benjamin, and Chairman of the Southern Carolina Alliance, Mr. John Williamson.
We are pleased to announce the completion of the safety evaluation effort for the HISTORM UMAX (Underground MAXimum capacity) canister storage system (NRC Docket No. 72-1040). The licensing application submittal date is set for June 30, 2012. Underway since 2010, this effort was the subject of a pre-submittal briefing to the NRC’s Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation (SFST) on Thursday, April 19, 2012 [see Holtec Highlights Issue HH27.03]. The licensing package being submitted to the USNRC incorporates the Staff’s inputs from the pre-submittal briefing. The submittal for HI-STORM UMAX has a rather modest objective of obtaining the certification of only the Vertical Ventilated Module (VVM), as it contains no new MPC designs.
We are pleased to announce that our subsidiary, SMR, LLC, has submitted a proposal to DOE’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) which seeks to award a total of $452 million in matching grant funds to two U.S. companies. The FOA, aiming to spur the rise of domestic nuclear design and supply capacity, limits eligible recipients to U.S. owned (ruling out non-U.S. based) companies.
We are pleased to announce that the Company has partnered with NuHub, a collaborative group of public, private, academic, and community development groups working to maximize the economic and job creation impact of the nuclear renaissance on the Midstate of South Carolina, to compete for one of two federal grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for small modular reactor (SMR) development. The recently announced federal award, totaling up to $452 million, will support engineering, design certification, and licensing for up to two prototype SMR designs, paving the way for the deployment of the first SMR units by 2022.
On April 19, 2012, Holtec International presented a new subterranean multi-purpose canister (MPC) based storage system in a pre-submittal briefing to the USNRC. In development since 2010, HI-STORM UMAX (for Underground MAXimum capacity) is physically sized to store all of the used nuclear fuel produced in the United States and all canisters currently licensed in dry storage in the country making it a truly universal on-site storage facility. HI-STORM UMAX, like its forerunner HI-STORM 100U certified by the USNRC in 2009, stores the MPC entirely below-ground and emits virtually zero dose. HI-STORM UMAX (Docket Number 72-1040) has heat rejection capacity in excess of 47 kW and stores up to 37 PWR and 89 BWR assembly MPCs. Like HI-STORM 100U, HI-STORM UMAX is “security-friendly”, providing a clear, unobstructed view of the entire ISFSI (see figure below) from any location and the closure lid is a massive steel weldment filled with concrete.
We are pleased to announce that a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between our wholly owned subsidiary SMR, LLC and the U.S. Department of Energy Savannah River Office (DOE-SR), along with the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), has been executed to situate our first 160 MW(e) small modular reactor at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The MOA establishes a framework in which Holtec, SRNL, and DOE-SR will leverage the unique assets and resources of the sprawling 310-square mile SRS near Aiken, South Carolina for expedited development, licensing, construction, commissioning, and operation of our flagship reactor, named SMR-160.
On behalf of the associates of our seven operation centers based on three continents, we extend our New Year greetings to Holtec International’s clients and suppliers – our vital stakeholders – who helped make 2011 a splendidly successful year for the Company. In 2011, Holtec completed 25 years of operation with a proud record of continuously rising employment in our factories and offices fueled nearly entirely by the sale of new products and systems developed by the Company’s own engineers. In its core business of spent fuel management, Holtec’s relationship base in wet and dry storage/transportation grew to over 120 nuclear plants around the globe. Holtec’s committed and derivative backlog across all product lines offered by the Company now exceeds $5 billion. In 2011, Holtec became the first company to establish a comprehensive training center for dry storage implementation and in November became the first company to complete a Client Assisted Turnkey dry storage project (at Waterford). The second Client Assisted Turnkey dry storage project, at Comanche Peak, is scheduled begin the final phase of the project, fuel loading of 12 HI-STORM systems, in February of 2012 (dry runs were completed July 2011).
Last month a new exhibit sponsored by Holtec International was unveiled at the PSEG Energy & Environmental Resource Center (EERC) located near the Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations in Salem, New Jersey (see photos on next page). The EERC is a community learning center focused on fostering an improved understanding of energy, environmental challenges and strategies for balancing energy demand with environmental stewardship. The center opened in January 2010 and has already hosted over 10,000 visitors.