US Holtec International and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction (HDEC) announced that they have formalised an agreement for completion of the standard design of the SMR-160 plant and delivery of SMR-160 projects worldwide.

HDEC will perform the detailed design of the balance of plant and prepare the full plant construction specification for the SMR-160 under development by Holtec since 2010. The partnership provides for project delivery rights for HDEC, subject to certain provisos, to validate Holtec’s Standard Design and its adaptation for a given site; perform the needed engineering, procurement and construction activities; and construct the plant.

This agreement is global in scope with provisions to comply with the preference of the customer, to effect the most competitive project cost, and in accord with Holtec’s existing commitment with Kiewit for the North American market announced in Holtec Highlights issue No. 35.12. 

Holtec will serve as the overall Architect Engineer for the plant and provide the major nuclear components through its US manufacturing facilities and international supply chain. Holtec will provide the instrumentation and control systems through its partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Framatome is Holtec’s selected fuel vendor for the SMR-160.

The cooperation combines Holtec’s expertise in design, engineering, manufacturing, and project delivery of nuclear components with Hyundai’s EPC and construction management capabilities for major projects. Holtec said the long-term framework of the agreement and worldwide collaboration supports standardisation of the SMR-160 design as it is deployed across the globe to support carbon attenuation objectives. 

The companies will cooperate to provide project financing and to achieve local content objectives, and are committed to deliver projects on a turnkey basis. “The partnership with Hyundai Engineering & Construction enhances our ability to deliver SMR-160 projects on schedule and at a competitive price,” commented Dr Rick Springman, Senior Vice President of International Projects, who led the negotiations. SMR-160 is an advanced pressurised water reactor that produces up to 160MWe. It is designed with flexibility to produce process heat for industrial applications and hydrogen to support the transition to a clean transportation sector. 

Holtec says “the SMR-160 promises unconditional safety through an across-the-board passive design, and the resulting physical simplicity imbedded in SMR-160 undergirds its competitive cost”. As a pressurised water reactor with traditional reactor core configuration, SMR-160 is readily licensable, and benefits from the decades of project delivery experience and global supply chains of both companies. 

“We have evaluated numerous SMR technologies, applying our extensive nuclear power plant experience, and firmly believe the SMR-160 is an eminently practical design in terms of construction and operations and will play a key role in the battle against climate change,” stated a high ranking HDEC official. In 2020, Holtec’s SMR-160 completed Phase 1 of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) “Pre-Licensing Review of a Vendor’s Reactor Design.” The CNSC staff concluded that “overall, SMR LLC understands and has correctly interpreted the high-level intent of CNSC’s regulatory requirements for the design of nuclear power plants in Canada pertaining to the scope of the Phase 1 VDR”. Holtec has also initiated the licensing process with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission with the goal of securing a site construction licence in 2025.

The company is exploring the possibility of deploying the first SMR-160 at the Oyster Creek decommissioning site in New Jersey and at two states in the south of the USA. To support the development of the SMR-160, the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a grant valued at $147.5 million (DOE share is $116 million with Holtec’s investment share being $31.5 million) last year.

To date, Holtec has invested more than $400 million in the SMR-160 programme and holds 25 US patents on the SMR-160 technology with many patents also extended to other countries.

Date: Friday, 26 November 2021
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