USNC appointed by UK BEIS to participate in the Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Feasibility and Development Project

USNC has been appointed by the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to participate in the Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Feasibility and Development Project. Project Title: MMR™, a novel nuclear cogeneration system for multipurpose applications.

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has developed the Micro-Modular Reactor (MMR™), a 15 MWth High-Temperature, Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR) design, able to operate 20 years without refueling. The focus is on electricity supply to remote mines and communities in northern Canada. The MMR™ reactor uses innovative features that set it apart from other HTGR designs.

The MMR™ reactor uses USNC's proprietary Fully Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM™) fuel. This fuel enhances the already very high fission product retention of TRISO particles. This allows for the design of reactors with extremely low release of fission products both during normal operation and accidents. FCM™ fuel coupled with the intrinsic characteristics of the MMR™ reactor design allow for an extremely simplified design of the plant while maintaining a robust safety case.

The MMR™ plant is designed to use an intermediate heat transfer loop, based on the molten salt technology successfully developed and deployed in Concentrating Solar Plants (CSP) over the last 10 years, to transfer the heat from the reactor to the Adjacent Plant. This allows the reactor to be decoupled from the client application. This makes the reactor very good for both generating electricity and process heat. An MMR™ plant can generate from 0–100% process heat, and 0–100% electrical power with the same flexibility as a gas boiler or gas turbine. The MMR™ plant is a small plant and is designed for mass production and modular construction. This contributes to its competitiveness. The MMR™ reactor is factory sealed, delivered, and retrieved after complete fuel depletion, resulting in a highly proliferation-resistant design. The MMR™ Design for Canada (MMR-REM™) is advanced and has undergone the Vendor Design Review (VDR) Phase 1 with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

USNC consider that the MMR-REM™ plant may not be well suited to application in the UK. The feasibility study is aimed at identifying a specific UK application that is best suited to launching a UK-MMR™ reactor. The study will identify the technical, economic and regulatory barriers to deployment and put a plan in place to address them. We expect that this will be in the delivery of high temperature process heat that can be used to replace fossil fuels and to generate high-value products such as hydrogen.