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Holtec and Ukraine developing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (dodgy underground devices)

Consortium established for SMR-160 deployment in Ukraine, WNN 12 June 2019

The consortium document was signed by Holtec CEO Kris Singh, Energoatom President Yury Nedashkovsky and SSTC President Igor Shevchenko. The signing ceremony – held at Holtec’s headquarters in Camden, New Jersey – was attended by senior Holtec officials and delegations from Mitsubishi Electric, the US Department of Energy and Energoatom.

The consortium is a US company registered in Delaware with each of the three parties owning allotted shares. Its technology operation centre will be based in Kiev, Ukraine…….

The MoU includes the licensing and construction of SMR-160 reactors in Ukraine, as well as the partial localisation of SMR-160 components. The Ukrainian manufacturing hub is to mirror the capabilities of Holtec’s Advanced Manufacturing Plant in Camden, and will be one of four manufacturing plants Holtec plans to build at distributed sites around the world by the mid-2020s.

Holtec’s 160 MWe factory-built SMR uses low-enriched uranium fuel. The reactor’s core and all nuclear steam supply system components would be located underground, and the design incorporates a wealth of features including a passive cooling system that would be able to operate indefinitely after shutdown….

The SMR-160 is planned for operation by 2026.

The SMR-160 is currently undergoing the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s three-phase pre-licensing vendor design review process. State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, the nuclear regulatory authority in Ukraine, is expected to coordinate its regulatory assessment of SMR-160 under a collaborative arrangement with its Canadian counterpart.  http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Consortium-established-for-SMR-160-deployment-in-U

Edwin lyman on the safety of these reactors “Holtec SMR-160. The Holtec SMR-160 will generate 160 MWe. Like the NuScale, it is designed for passive cooling of the primary system during both normal and accident conditions. However, the modules would be much taller than the NuScale modules and would not be submerged in a pool of water. Each reactor vessel would be located deep underground, with a large inventory of water above it that could be used to provide a passive heat sink for cooling the core in the event of an accident. Each containment building would be surrounded by an additional enclosure for safety, and the space between the two structures would be filled with water. Unlike the other iPWRs, the SMR-160 steam generators are not internal to the reactor vessel. The reactor system is tall and narrow to maximize the rate of natural convective flow, which is low in other passive designs. Holtec has not made precise dimensions available, but the reactor vessel is approximately 100 feet tall, and the aboveground portion of the containment is about 100 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter (Singh 2013)

For these and other SMRs, it is important to note that only limited information is available about the design, as well as about safety and security. A vast amount of information is considered commercially sensitive or security-related and is being withheld from the public. ….

 in the event of a serious accident, emergency crews could have greater difficulty accessing underground reactors.

Underground siting of reactors is not a new idea. Decades ago, both Edward Teller and Andrei Sakharov proposed siting reactors deep underground to enhance safety. However, it was recognized early on that building reactors underground increases cost. Numerous studies conducted in the 1970s found construction cost penalties for underground reactor construction ranging from 11 to 60 percent (Myers and Elkins). As a result, the industry lost interest in underground siting. This issue will require considerable analysis to evaluate trade-offs…. ” https://nuclearinformation.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/edwin-lyman-on-small-modular-reactors/  erious accident, emergency crews could have greater difficulty accessing underground reactors.

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June 13, 2019 - Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, Ukraine, USA

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