Shrinking reactors makes nuclear power safer, more scalable, and less costly. That’s the idea behind the NuScale Power Module, the first and only small modular reactor (SMR) to receive design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Instead of the traditional concrete-domed plant, each NuScale module consists of a 76-ft.-tall, 15-ft.-diameter cylindrical reactor and containment vessel sitting in a steel-lined, water-filled pool below-ground. The SMRs automatically shut down and self-cool in the event of power failure, and each generates about 77 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 60,000 homes. The company’s first power plant could be running by 2029 in Idaho.
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