The microreactor team last month submitted two important topical reports to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and 24 white papers during 2022, on critical aspects of the technology and design
Bringing advanced nuclear technology to communities that need clean, reliable electricity doesn’t just happen. The process involves research and development in the lab as well as interactions with the technology’s licensing authority, in this case the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Those interactions are vital to receiving design certification and an operating license—the ultimate goal.
The Westinghouse team working on the eVinci™ microreactor made significant progress during 2022 on its regulatory engagement plan with the NRC through submission of 24 technical white papers and two topical reports. The topical reports are the first documents submitted to the NRC under the eVinci microreactor reactor program seeking formal review and approval.
“The submittal of these technical documents, along with the feedback we’ve received from the NRC, shows not only our very strong licensing capability for the eVinci microreactor, but also the maturity of our innovative technology,” said David Durham, Energy Systems President for Westinghouse.
The eVinci™ microreactor could help provide remote communities with carbon-free energy.
eVinci is a Game-Changer
The eVinci microreactor utilizes heat-pipe technology to generate safe, reliable, carbon-free electricity, up to 5 MWe. And it can do that 24/7/365 for eight or more years without refueling, performing similar to a solid-state nuclear battery. The eVinci microreactor has minimal moving parts and doesn’t require the pumps, valves and associated systems utilized by traditional light water reactors. That helps keep it compact and transportable, able to deliver power exactly where it’s needed, including electricity and heating for remote communities, universities, mining operations, industrial centers, data centers, and defense facilities.
During 2022, the team advanced a number of areas necessary for NRC review and approval, including the eVinci deployment model: factory-built reactors shipped to sites for timely and efficient installation.
Getting to the Finish Line
Currently, there are no commercial NRC-approved microreactors licensed.
However, these interactions with the regulator are vital steps in designing and building an advanced reactor that will meet the most stringent of safety requirements.
The NRC has a roadmap for advanced reactor technology developers to follow that outlines these early regulatory engagements prior to submitting license applications for non-light water reactor designs. Westinghouse is following this roadmap to ensure an efficient, successful license application for the eVinci microreactor technology in the coming years.
The eVinci microreactor team committed to submit 24 technical white papers to the NRC in 2022. The white papers involve key topics ranging from design to testing, and how those topics will be approached by Westinghouse throughout the pre application process.
The next step in the process will be to develop Topical Reports on key subjects to gain early NRC approval on critical aspects of the technology and design. Last month, the first two of those reports were submitted to the NRC, ahead of schedule.
The eVinci team is reviewing the written responses from the NRC on the white papers and will use that feedback to inform its design development.
There promises to be further significant milestone achievements for eVinci during 2023 as the technology moves toward the testing phase and then commercial deployment in the years ahead.
Visit our Navigator page to learn more about eVinci.