The new American startup, based at the University of Oregon, aims to promote a new concept for the development of nuclear energy. It does not promise commercial benefits, but it significantly reduces the risks of operating large traditional nuclear power plants. The authors know what they are talking about - the same university has previously had a petition about the 2019 climate crisis.
The new reactor technology is called NuScale and is a miniature version of a typical light water reactor. The authors of the development emphasize that they did not invent anything fundamentally new, they only deeply optimized the existing design. On the one hand, this will simplify its maintenance, on the other, such reactors can be built at existing factories, cheaply and quickly.
NuScale's advantage is in terms of size and power, they generate 60 MW of energy each, while in the WH-4 reactor compartment, like those at the Byron nuclear power plant in Illinois, you can install up to a hundred such micro-reactors. It is emphasized that the cooling system will not need to be upgraded, a set of hundreds of NuScale reactors consumes as much water as two WH-4s. But the old installation has a capacity of 2400 MW, and the new one has 100 * 60 MW.
It is reported that such tiny reactors will significantly simplify the construction of compact nuclear power plants anywhere in the world. It is also possible that a mobile version of the nuclear power plant will be created in response to the needs of the military and the oil and gas sector. The project is currently being studied by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.