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GEH, ARC Nuclear partner to develop advanced small modular reactor

EBR Staff Writer Published 14 March 2017

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has collaborated with Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC Nuclear) to develop an advanced small modular reactor (aSMR).

As per terms of the deal, the firms will develop and licence aSMR based on mature generation IV sodium-cooled reactor technology.

The partnership will work together to progress a joint aSMR design for global power generation, which will be initially tested in Canada.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will carry out preliminary regulatory review for the reactor, which is being developed based on licensing technology that was already achieved success in the US.

In addition, the collaborative commercialization program involves the confirmation of projected construction and operating costs, in addition to identifying the lead-plant owner/operator for the joint aSMR.

Based on EBR-II integral sodium-cooled fast reactor prototype developed by Argonne National Laboratory, the GEH and ARC Nuclear have individually developed advanced reactor designs that were operated for about 30 years at Idaho Falls.

GEH’s PRISM reactor was developed to refuel every 12 to 24 months, while ARC Nuclear’s ARC-100 was developed to operate for about 20 years without any need for refueling.

GEH president and CEO Jay Wileman said: “GEH has broad engineering experience, deep technical capability and significant investment in its sodium fast reactor technology program that builds on a 60-year history as an original equipment manufacturer of more than 60 boiling water reactors worldwide.”

ARC Nuclear chairman and CEO Don Wolf said: “ARC Nuclear has a heritage of sodium fast reactor experience that includes key senior scientists and engineers from the EBR-II prototype program – technical leaders involved in developing and demonstrating the fast reactor foundational technology within the U.S. Department of Energy.”