Richland NAYGN Glimpse Nuclear Future at NuScale Power

Guest post by Umar Faraz, Process Engineer, AREVA

I recently had the privilege to tour NuScale Power in Corvallis, Ore., with some of my colleagues from AREVA’s Richland chapter of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN). We had the opportunity to dig into the technical details of NuScale’s 50 MWe small modular reactor (SMR) design and explore NuScale’s test facility at Oregon State University.

The NuScale team described their SMR design’s different safety systems, provided a tour through the mockup control room, and demonstrated different operating scenarios on the simulator.

NuScale states there is a need for SMRs in the changing U.S. energy market, and I now have a better understanding why. Their SMR concept not only provides flexibility in meeting energy market needs, but is designed to provide enhanced operating efficiencies and safety. Their design reiterates that nuclear power is an important part of the U.S. energy portfolio by providing Americans with safe, clean, and more economical energy. It truly delivers the Nuclear Promise.

AREVA’s NAYGN Richland chapter enjoyed learning more about NuScale Power and its SMR technology (Faraz second from left).

AREVA’s NAYGN Richland chapter enjoyed learning more about NuScale Power and its SMR technology (Faraz second from left).

To help make this concept a reality, NuScale contracted with AREVA for its expertise to provide nuclear fuel based on AREVA’s proven HTP fuel design. The resulting NuScale HTP2TM design is working its way through a battery of tests, many of them conducted in AREVA’s international testing facilities. NuScale is preparing to submit its design certification to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission later this year.

As a process engineer at AREVA’s Richland, Wash., fuel manufacturing facility, the daylong experience was truly invaluable as I learned more about technology that could soon reshape the nuclear energy industry.

Umar Faraz is an AREVA Voyager and Vice-Chair of the NAYGN Richland chapter. He currently works as process engineer in the Ceramics area of AREVA’s Richland fuel manufacturing facility.