Holtec, Hyundai to accelerate SMR development

20 October 2022

Holtec International of the USA and South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction have agreed to accelerate the programme to complete the balance of plant design of the remaining systems and structures for the SMR-160 advanced small modular reactor.

Holtec's Kris Singh (left) and Hyundai E&C's Young-Joon Yoon at the signing of the agreement (Image: Holtec)

The agreement was signed on 18 October by Holtec President and CEO Kris Singh and Hyundai E&C President and CEO Young-Joon Yoon at Holtec's Technology Campus in Camden, New Jersey.

The two companies - supported by Kiewit and Mitsubishi Electric - have been collaborating to develop a standard design, which will be deployable in most regions of the world without any significant modification, reducing the time from the customer's authorisation to proceed to the commissioning of the plant, Holtec said.

Hyundai E&C said it will participate in the detailed design necessary for the installation of the SMR-160 in consideration of the local natural environment and characteristics, such as climate, temperature, and humidity. 

The new agreement builds on the teaming agreement signed in November 2021 under which Hyundai E&C will perform the detailed design of the balance of plant and prepare the full plant construction specification for the SMR-160, which Holtec has been developing since 2010. The Korean company will also develop the integrated 3D plant model for construction using its Building Information Modelling management process. The partnership also provides for project delivery rights for Hyundai, subject to certain provisions.

"The team recognises the urgent need to provide a clean energy eco-system that integrates the SMR-160 nuclear power plant with a competitive solar energy facility, and the clean energy storage and delivery system (called Green Boiler) being developed by Holtec to meet the needs of the post-fossil fuel economies of the world," Holtec said.

"Over the past year, Hyundai E&C and Holtec have fostered a solid partnership through close collaboration in design and engineering, working tirelessly to accelerate commercialisation and to solidify Team Holtec as the leader in the global clean energy marketplace," it added. "Joint efforts are being made to install SMR-160-centered ecosystems in over fifteen countries inclined to deploy SMR-160 and Green Boiler to meet their electricity and district heating needs."

Hyundai E&C has been developing the SMR-160 plant design construction specification through close association with Holtec, with the design and associated Safety Analysis Report underpinning a construction permit application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the first SMR-160 plant in the USA.

Holtec is considering deploying the first SMR-160 at Oyster Creek in New Jersey, where it is currently in the process of decommissioning a former boiling water reactor.

Yoon said, "By accelerating completion of the SMR-160 development programme, we have further strengthened our cooperative relationship with Holtec, paving the way for a wide array of collaborations. As a power plant project developer, Hyundai E&C has taken a giant step toward becoming a total solution provider for clean energy at all stages - from business discovery, planning, and development, to construction, including future new technology development."

The SMR-160 is a pressurised light-water reactor, generating 160 MWe (525 MWt) using low-enriched uranium fuel, with flexibility to produce process heat for industrial applications and hydrogen production. The design has completed the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's three-phase pre-licensing vendor design review, and is undergoing pre-licensing activities with the NRC.

Holtec said it aims to secure a US construction licence in 2025, and is "actively exploring the possibility" of deploying an SMR-160 at Oyster Creek - which it acquired from Exelon in 2019 following the plant's closure the previous year - and at two other sites in the southern USA.

In March this year, Holtec and Hyundai E&C agreed to cooperate in the area of nuclear plant decommissioning. As part of the agreement, Hyundai E&C will participate in decommissioning activities at Holtec-owned decommissioning sites in the USA to build their capabilities and experience in preparation for decommissioning projects in South Korea, which will be undertaken by the two companies. The agreement also provides for the two companies to further expand their cooperation internationally.

Holtec in July submitted an application for a USD7.4 billion federal loan to enable it to increase capacity for SMR production at its existing manufacturing facilities, to construct and operate four SMR-160s in the USA and to build a new Holtec Heavy Industries (HHI) complex for higher capacity manufacturing of components and modules for SMR-160s. It is still evaluating the location of HHI, but said the proposed mega-plant would likely be close to the site of its first US SMR-160.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News