USNC Invests in Modernization of Best-in-Breed Helium Blowers from Howden

SEATTLE – August 12, 2020 – U.S.-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation™ (USNC) has contracted with UK-based Howden to design a helium circulator for use in the company’s Micro-Modular Reactors (MMR™). Ultra Safe Nuclear is investing in the best-in-breed Howden submerged helium blowers to maximize heat transfer in the MMR’s power plant.

Howden products are proven components in the nuclear industry. Used in a variety of reactor designs, including Pressure Water Reactors (PWR) and Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGR), Howden technologies have been successfully deployed in nuclear installations for decades.

“Our contract with Howden is a strategic investment that marries the inherent safety of our MMR with proven equipment that will make the overall system simpler, less expensive, and more reliable,” said Mark Mitchell, President of USNC-Power. “By seeking superior components from around the world, we’re building a best-in-class supply chain for our MMR.”

Ultra Safe Nuclear will collaborate with the Howden engineering and design team to maximize heat-transfer efficiencies. The company plans to incorporate the Howden submerged blower into the MMR Project at the Chalk River Laboratories site in Ontario. This MMR Project is in the third stage of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) four-stage process to site a demonstration small modular reactor (SMR) at Chalk River Laboratories, a site owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and operated by CNL.

“Ultra Safe Nuclear is a leader in both development of advanced nuclear reactor technology and the process of starting construction of a working deployment,” said Fred Hearle, Executive Director, Howden. “The addition of a custom Howden blower to the Ultra Safe Nuclear design demonstrates how committed the company is to making its reactor safe and state of the art.”

The USNC MMR Reactor consists of two plants: the nuclear plant that generates heat, and the adjacent power plant that converts heat into electricity or provides process heat for industrial applications. The USNC system is designed to be uniquely simple, with minimal operations and maintenance requirements, and no on-site fuel storage, handling, or processing. Key to the overall design is USNC’s Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM™) fuel, providing a new approach to reactor safety at the fuel level.