Westinghouse’s small reactor would fit four to a football pitch

The AP300 would be an ultra-compact version of the company’s full-size AP1000 pressurised water reactor (Courtesy of Westinghouse)
North American nuclear engineer Westinghouse yesterday unveiled plans to manufacture a small modular reactor (SMR) by the end of this decade.

Called the AP300, it would be an ultra-compact version of its full-size AP1000 pressurised water reactor.

Westinghouse said the AP300 could fit on a quarter of a football pitch, and would cost around $1bn a unit.

With an operational life of some 80 years, the reactor would have a 300MW generating capacity, and could also be used for district heating, desalination and hydrogen production.

The company hopes to get design certification for the unit by 2027, and to build the first commercial unit by the end of the decade.

Basing it on AP1000 technology allows Westinghouse to capitalise on supply chain know-how developed during 18 years of AP1000 development, the company said.

It will use the same passive safety system, which automatically shuts down the reactor in a critical situation, and eliminates the need for backup power and cooling supply.

“The AP300 is the only SMR offering available that is based on deployed, operating and advanced reactor technology,” said Westinghouse chief executive Patrick Fragman.

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