NuScale sets up nuclear reactor control room simulator in Corvallis

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What NuScale is billing as the the world’s first control room simulator for a multi-module small reactor power plant was commissioned in July at NuScale Power’s Corvallis location.
Courtesy NuScale Power

What NuScale is billing as the the world’s first control room simulator for a multi-module small reactor power plant was commissioned in July at NuScale Power’s Corvallis location. 

NuScale Power LLC announced Wednesday it opened a small modular nuclear reactor control room simulator, designed to demonstrate and enhance the safety of its nuclear power plant design.

The simulator, at the company's Corvallis facility, serves as a virtual control room that will allow the company to try out different approaches to power plant design.

NuScale is seeking federal funding and regulatory approval to deploy nuclear power stations made up of small modular reactors that are billed as much more safe than traditional reactors. The modular design also allows for flexibility in size of the power plant.

The control room simulator has 12 work stations each dedicated to simulating the operations of one NuScale module and a turbine generator for electricity generation. A plant using 12 modules would have the capacity to produce enough electricity to power a city of 500,000 people. NuScale is seeking U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval for the power plant design.

"NuScale’s first-mover status has allowed the company to set the standard for small modular reactors," said Paul Lorenzini, chief executive officer, in a press release. "NuScale established the first operational test facility, the first regulatory interactions, the first customer advisory board, and now the first full-scale control room simulator."

NuScale escaped financial ruin last year with a $30 million investment from Fluor Corp. announced last October. The investment served as a rescue for the company after its major investor pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme.

NuScale employs more than 200 people in Corvallis and Portland. Scientists at Oregon State University did the original development of the small-scale reactor.

The company should know before the end of September whether the U.S. Department of Energy will match as much as $226 million of NuScale's costs associated with the licensing, engineering and regulatory approval for the first power plant to be built using NuScale technology.

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