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A handful of North American advanced nuclear reactor projects have made substantial progress

•, brian wang

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is conducting Phase 1 of a pre-licensing vendor design review on the Terrestrial Energy molten salt IMSR, which it expects to be completed in September 2017 as it moves into the engineering phase. It plans to submit either an application seeking design certification or a construction permit application for the IMSR-400 no later than October 2019 to the NRC. It hopes to commission its first commercial reactor by the early 2020s. The company and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories are considering the feasibility of siting a commercial plant at Chalk River.

NuScale lodged an application for US design certification in January 2017, and in July 2017 the NRC confirmed that its highly integrated protection system (HIPS) architecture was approved. NuScale has been engaged with the NRC since 2008, having spent some $130 million on licensing to November 2013. It expects the NRC review to take 40 months, so the first unit could be under construction in 2020 and in operation about 2023.

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