Alex Harkness, SMR Design Lead and Fellow Engineer at Westinghouse LLC, spoke at the ANS Connecticut Section Speaker Meeting on January 19th, 2012. His presentation, entitled “Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) What are they? Why are they cool?” is available here.
SMRs, mostly varieties of PWRs, are currently in vogue by the public, vendors and the NRC. Why is this? Among the offerings are designs by mPower (B&W), NuScale and Westinghouse. TVA has stated sincere interest by initiating licensing at the former Clinch River breeder reactor site, for a multi-module plant. The modular requirements (what does “modular” mean?), economics, design challenges and licensing hurdles were outlined.