March 7, 2019

An Innovative Nuclear Solution—in a Smaller Package

Matt Letourneau

The latest installment in our EnergyInnovates series takes us to Corvallis, Oregon, home to NuScale, a company that is changing the way we think about nuclear energy. 

Nuclear energy is America’s largest source of emissions-free power.  NuScale has developed a smaller, more mobile nuclear reactor which can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively (called a Small Modular Reactor, or SMR).

NuScale’s story starts with a Department of Energy grant to Oregon State University and the Idaho National Laboratory in 2000 to study the feasibility of a smaller nuclear plant.  After the granted ended, OSU scientists continued the work, and eventually granted exclusive rights to NuScale to commercialize the project. 

Click the image below to watch our video.

Since that time, NuScale has made great progress toward bringing its SMR to the market, and is on track to receive approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the mid-2020’s.  The NRC has already spent over 115,000 hours reviewing NuScale’s Design Certificate Application, and in 2018, the Department of Energy granted NuScale  $40 million in cost-sharing financial assistance. 

During our visit, the NuScale team walked us through what makes their technology unique, and why they’re excited to come to work everyday to advance this ground-breaking technology. 

The Chamber’s long been supportive of nuclear energy as an important part of our energy future, and NuScale’s work is proof that sometimes exciting advancements can come in small packages.