Holtec says it wants to build its first SMR-160 small modular reactors (SMRs) for a four-unit power plant in the USA and to establish a “supersize factory to manufacture SMR-160s”, saying that the “first mover state will become the leader in the emerging industry”.
The application for the second part of the loan comes after the US Department of Energy (DoE) approved Part 1 of Holtec International’s loan application for building SMRs in March and invited Holtec to apply for a federal loan to expand its manufacturing capacity to build the new reactors in large numbers.
Holtec’s loan application identifies several different sites for the first SMR-160 plant – it says the choice will depend on financial support for the construction and a long-term power purchase agreement. It also suggests building the first SMR-160 at Holtec’s existing Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey.
But it adds that the “new high-capacity manufacturing plant will likely be located in the region where the first SMR-160s will be deployed … inevitable the first mover state will become the leader in the emerging industry of small modular reactors with tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs in manufacturing, reactor support services, nuclear plant operations and related areas”.
Holtec’s Preisdent and CEO, Kris Singh, said: “We hope the stalled clean energy bill in Congress, whose passage is critical for launching the rise of unconditionally safe SMR plants in the US, would soon become law fulfilling Abraham Lincoln’s quip, ‘I walk slow but I don’t walk back’. We consider a rapid expansion of the global 24/7 generation capacity of clean energy and reversing the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to be a matter of our planet’s survival as a human habitat … our government must repeat the great success story of solar energy with new nuclear which holds an even greater promise for carbon mitigation.”
The company also announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Entergy Corporation, who will evaluate the feasibility of deploying one or more SMR-160s on one of its existing sites.
Entergy’s Chief Nuclear Officer, Chris Bakken, said: “Entergy will be evaluating Holtec’s SMR-160 system as a means to potentially help us meet our net-zero goals because of its inherent safety, modularity, operational simplicity, small footprint, and the proven light water reactor technologies that undergird it.”
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. Holtec finalised an agreement with Hyundai in 2021 for the turnkey supply of the SMR-160 worldwide. The Holtec SMR will use commercially available Framatome fuel.
Source: World Nuclear News