GE Hitachi submits nuclear design application to UK agency | Daily News Byte

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GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has submitted a design application for its BWRX-300 Small Modular Reactor (SMR) to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The company, headquartered in Wilmington, is working toward the goal of deploying its BWRX-300 design, which is based on its legacy boiling water reactor models. As GE Hitachi’s first SMR, the design uses less material than older reactors operating today and will be more cost- and energy-efficient.

The UK’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA) entry application protocol allows regulators to assess safety, security and environmental protection standards for nuclear designs, according to a GE Hitachi news release. GE Hitachi partnered with Jacobs UK Limited, a firm with deep experience in the GDA process, to submit its application.

“We believe the BWRX-300 is the ideal technology to help the UK meet its decarbonisation and energy security targets,” said Sean Sexton, Executive Vice President of Advanced Nuclear at GE Hitachi. “Regulatory agencies in Canada and the US are cooperating in their licensing review of BWRX-300. Through the GDA process we look forward to engaging UK regulators and enabling collaboration with their global counterparts.”

The UK aims to reach 24 gigawatts of nuclear generation capacity by 2050, according to a GE Hitachi release. According to the World Nuclear Association, today the country is dependent on about 6.5 GW of nuclear power. “GEH believes that the fleet of BWRX-300 SMRs can play a significant role in helping the UK meet its decarbonisation and energy security goals,” GE Hitachi shared in its presentation.

The company has contracts with various organizations and governments that want to produce designs.

Ontario Power Generation built the first of its four planned BWRX-300 plants earlier this month, GE Hitachi Chief Financial Officer Mike Ford shared at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Dec. 3 Power Breakfast event. Officials say the plant could come online by 2028.

Another Canadian utility, SaskPower, also plans to build four, Ford said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority recently applied for a license to build the design, and Poland-based ORLN Synthos plans to build the Green Energy 10. GE Hitachi has agreements with companies in Canada, Czech Republic, Poland, UK, US, Sweden. and others, according to his release.

“We are now in the race to win reactors in the UK,” Ford said at the Power Breakfast event. “We’re going to make a lot of these things.”

The BWRX-300 is currently in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s “pre-application” phase.

For more on GE Hitachi’s work on the BWRX-300, read WilmingtonBiz Magazine’s December profile on the company’s plans.

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