Nuclear’s rise good news for NuScale
Paul G. Lorenzini, NuScale Power CEO
NuScale Power, a Corvallis-based startup that is developing a modular, small-scale nuclear reactor, cheered the news Monday that President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year includes a boost for the development of nuclear power.
Following up on President Obama’s state of the union address in which he called for new nuclear power development, the 2011 budget calls for a hefty $36 billion in new loan guarantee authority for two new nuclear power facilities and $793 million for new research.
But it’s the $38.8 million set aside for “Small Modular Reactors” that NuScale officials are eyeing as potential funding. The company is working on a design certification for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which will standardize the specs of NuScale’s 45-megawatt electric Light Water Reactor nuclear power plant. The reactors are designed to be scaled up in groups, 12 reactors would create a 540 MW plant.
Bruce Landry, spokesman for NuScale, says the company will deliver the designs certification in the first quarter of 2012. The company currently has 30 full-time employees but expects to staff up to as much as 100 people, mostly engineers, within a year.
NuScale’s plan to build compact nuclear reactors originated at Oregon State University. The reactors are modular and can work alone or with up to 24 others at a single site. The first NuScale plant isn’t expected to go live until 2018.
NuScale, backed by San Francisco-based CMEA Capital, is currently raising its Series B round of funding and has been since early last year. The company hired Paul Lorenzini, a former PacifiCorp executive, as CEO in 2007. Last year, a Los Alamos labs veteran, Tom Marcille, joined as chief operating officer.
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