Joint International Development of Small Reactor with Superior Economics
What is needed to make the safe and clean generation of nuclear power more competitive in the market is to achieve generation costs that are lower than other alternatives together with reducing capital cost and capital risk. To achieve this, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd. is working with its US partner, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, on the development of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor with superior economics that takes advantage of features from the boiling water reactor (BWR). To improve economic performance, the development aims to overcome the disadvantages of scale that come with a small reactor while keeping construction costs much lower than for a large reactor.
To improve the reliability of the reactor primary coolant pressure boundary, the BWRX-300 mitigates loss-of-coolant accidents (a major accident scenario for a nuclear reactor). This not only allows the amount of material used in the reactor building relative to plant output to be cut to about half of that for a large reactor, it also means the reactor can be installed in the form of factory-built modules, thereby considerably reducing both construction costs and construction risks and shortening construction time.
The intention for the future is to continue to develop the technology based around joint development in Japan and the USA with a view to encouraging investment in clean energy by improving public acceptance through measures that include alignment with government policies on nuclear power and taking account of users’ opinions.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
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