“Engaging customers is critical to product development, and we are thrilled that Dominion will invest in our new SMR to advance its commercialization,” said Jon Ball, Executive Vice President of Nuclear Plant Projects for GEH. “The BWRX-300 represents a significant improvement in the economics of new nuclear, an imperative for the long-term viability of the industry. It is more efficient, simpler, safer and needs a fraction of the footprint compared to the current fleet of light water reactors.”
Dominion Energy’s funding of the BWRX-300 provides seed money to further work that could lead to commercializing this technology. The company has no plan at this time to build one at any of its commercial nuclear stations.
“We believe that nuclear power has a vital role in ensuring a clean, reliable, and cost-effective supply of electricity to meet the needs of a growing economy,” said Dan Stoddard, Chief Nuclear Officer-Dominion Energy. “We also believe the innovations GE Hitachi is pursuing with the BWRX-300 Small Modular Reactor have the potential to make it a strong competitor in the marketplace. Our view is that a modest investment now to support further development of this technology is in the interest of both companies.”
The BWRX-300 leverages the design and licensing basis of the NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require up to 60 percent less capital cost per MW when compared to other water-cooled SMRs or existing large nuclear designs.
If these savings can be achieved, the BWRX-300 can become cost-competitive with power generation from combined cycle gas and renewables. The BWRX-300 is the company’s 10th generation boiling water reactor design.