The BWRX-300 is a 300MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems


GE has started NRC licensing process for BWRX-300 small modular reactor. (Credit: Markus Distelrath from Pixabay)

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has officially begun the regulatory licensing process for its BWRX-300 small modular reactor.

On December 30, 2019 the company submitted the first licensing topical report (LTR) for the BWRX-300 to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). GEH expects such LTRs to serve as a foundation for the development of a Preliminary Safety Analysis Report that could potentially be submitted to the NRC by a utility customer.

“Embarking on the U.S. licensing process is a significant milestone in the commercialization of the BWRX-300,” said Jon Ball, Executive Vice President of Nuclear Products for GEH. “The first licensing topical report was submitted to the NRC at the end of 2019 as part of an aggressive timeline that we set for ourselves. As the global demand for carbon-free energy increases, we are seeing significant interest in this groundbreaking SMR technology and are excited about continuing to work toward U.S. licensing.”

The BWRX-300 is a 300MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared to other water-cooled SMR designs or existing large nuclear reactor designs.

By leveraging the existing ESBWR design certification, utilizing licensed and proven nuclear fuel designs, incorporating proven components and supply chains and implementing simplification innovations the BWRX-300 can, GEH believes, become cost-competitive with power generation from combined cycle gas plants and renewable energy platforms.

As the tenth evolution of GE’s first Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) design, GEH’s BWRX-300 represents the simplest, yet most innovative BWR design since GE began commercializing nuclear reactors in 1955.

Source: Company Press Release