Fluor Corp. says that NuScale Power, in which Fluor is the majority investor, has learned that its design certification application has been accepted for review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

By accepting the completed application for review on March 16, Fluor says in a statement that the NRC confirms that NuScale’s submission addresses all NRC requirements and contains sufficient technical information to conduct the review, which could take another 40 months to complete.

(Read "NuScale Reactor Nears One Milestone, With More to Follow.")

Artist's concept of a NuScale SMR.Artist's concept of a NuScale SMR.NuScale is the first small modular reactor (SMR) to have made it this far in the U.S. regulatory process.

NuScale’s SMR includes scalable plants, and the facility output can be incrementally increased depending upon the demand. The technology’s operational flexibility can also be integrated with other energy sources like wind and solar to provide consistent power and to help enable stable grid performance.

NuScale marked a major milestone on Dec. 31, 2016, when the company asked the NRC to approve its SMR design, the first submitted in the United States.

Development of the reactor concept dates back to 2000, with origins as a project involving Oregon State University (OSU), the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, and Nexant. That concept, designated as the Multi-Application Small Light-Water Reactor, was refined by OSU and became the basis for the current design.

In 2013, NuScale was the sole winner of a Department of Energy funding program aimed at refining SMR technology and advancing the design certification process with the NRC. As part of the award, NuScale took home $226 million in federal funding over a five-year period.

NuScale Power was originally financed by a group of strategic partners and capital venture investors. In October 2011, Fluor Engineering became the majority investor and a partner for engineering, procurement, and construction services.