New design of marine-deployed nuclear power station unveiled

American small modular reactor provider NuScale Power (NuScale) and Canadian firm Prodigy Clean Energy (Prodigy) have revealed a new conceptual design for a transportable and marine-based small modular reactor (SMR) power-generating facility.

NuScale Power

The companies have been collaborating since 2018 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the joint goal of bringing a North American SMR marine facility to market.

Credit: NuScale Power

The updated concept will be used for engagements with utilities, regulators, and shipyard manufacturers.

Compared to terrestrial deployments, Prodigy’s technologies can help with manufacturing and outfitting the entire marine facility in a shipyard.

After transport to the deployment location, the marine facility would be fixed in place within a protected harbor and connected to shoreside transmission and process heat systems.

Nuclear fuel would be loaded in the NPMs as the last step of the commissioning process before beginning power generation. Operations, security, and fuel handling protocols are equivalent to those used for a traditional nuclear power plant under existing nuclear regulations.

Further advantages include reduced capital expenditure, accelerated project schedule, minimized site preparation, and reduced environmental impact, according to the company.

Carbon-free power generated by these facilities would support at-scale electrification, as well as the production of zero-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia, to decarbonize the transport and shipping sectors.

At the end of its life, the marine facility would be transported to a marine-accessible center for decommissioning.

“NuScale is extremely proud to continue this partnership with Prodigy, as utilization of a transportable marine facility will enable us to deploy the NuScale Power Module at more locations around the world,” said John Hopkins, NuScale Power President and Chief Executive Officer. 

“It is our privilege to partner with NuScale to expand global access to clean, baseload energy generation. By packaging the NPM into Prodigy’s marine facility, we will offer countries a near-term solution to address energy security and to decarbonize their economies, including replacing coal-fired plants – many of which are located at the coast,” Mathias Trojer, Prodigy Clean Energy President and Chief Executive Officer, added.