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7 June, 2021

IHI to Participate in NuScale’s SMR Project

On May 27, IHI Corporation (IHI), headquartered in Tokyo, announced that it would enter the small modular reactor (SMR) market by investing in NuScale Power, a developer of SMR technology based in the United States. IHI thus joins Japan’s JGC Holdings Corporation as an investor in NuScale.

PWR-based SMRs developed by NuScale comprise multiple reactor modules maintained in a pool of water. One module can generate 77MW each, meaning about 924MW for a 12-module power plant.

NuScale is working on a demonstration reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory, with a service target of 2029. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued regulatory design approval for NuScale’s technology in August 2020, ahead of all others.

In April 2021, JGC Holdings Corporation, based in Yokohama, announced its investment in NuScale’s SMR project. That was noted favorably at the Nuclear Energy Subcommittee under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy as an example of innovation through international cooperation.

SMRs feature improved reliability through simplified systems with smaller cores, and can be manufactured in factories as modules for delivery. They are being developed in Canada and the UK as well. NuScale’s plants are able to adjust for the variable output of renewable energies by connecting and disconnecting reactors.

With its deep experience as a nuclear equipment manufacturer, IHI hopes that SMRs can be “a promising solution to realizing a carbon-free society.” Accordingly, it decided to invest in the NuScale project.

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