On 10th and 11th May ÚJV Řež hosted in a meeting in Prague of the International NUWARD Advisory Board (INAB), a multinational body of experts responsible for evaluating the development of NUWARD SMR, one of the small modular reactors considered for construction in the Czech Republic as part of the process launched by CEZ. NUWARD SMR is a European project led by the French state-owned company EDF in cooperation with international industrial partners with the ambition of setting up a European industrial SMR platform.
INAB was launched in December 2021 and gathers twice a year. This is te first time the meeting has taken place outside of France. The multinational board of experts includes the nuclear power plant operators TVO, Fortum, Ontario Power Generation and the British branch of EDF, as well as engineering companies such as the Czech ÚJV Řež, Tata Consulting Engineers and research institutions such as the U.S. MIT, Politecnico Milano. Governmental entities such as the Indian Department of Atomic Energy, and French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) are also involved. Their main objective is to challenge the design features and development roadmap of NUWARD SMR to make sure the product fully meets the market’s expectations.
“NUWARD SMR is clearly positioning itself as a European project via a number of initiatives involving European supply chain, regulators and utilities. The work by the INAB clearly finds its place in our international ambition to develop a product fit for the export market in Europe and abroad,“ said Vakis Ramany, EDF's senior vice president in charge of Development, New Nuclear Projects & Engineering.
“We are extremely grateful to ÚJV Řež for hosting the INAB in Prague. It is highly symbolic to hold this third session in the Czech Republic where EDF is highly committed to both for large-scale and SMR reactors. We truly believe that our NUWARD design can benefit from the robust experience of the Czech industry, and we are working with Czech firms on how they can become part of the NUWARD supply chain,” he added.
About NUWARD SMR
The NUWARD SMR is a nuclear power plant comprised of two independent small nuclear reactors, housed in a single building, with a total capacity of 340 MWe (2 x 170 MWe). The design has been under development since 2017 by EDF, with contributions by other major European companies: France's TechnicAtome (a company in charge for the design and construction of naval propulsion nuclear reactors), Naval Group (a group of naval shipyards, which designs and builds nuclear-powered submarines and aircrafts carriers), Framatome (a subsidiary of EDF, responsible for the design of nuclear steam supply systems for civil reactors and the production of their main components including design and manufacturing of the fuel), the CEA (the French Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy - the authority responsible for nuclear energy research) and Tractebel Engineering (international engineering consultancy and nuclear plant designer).
EDF’s strategic objective with the development of NUWARD SMR is to provide a nuclear solution, as part of its reactor technology portfolio, to address climate change in the next decade while many coal-fired sources of electricity and heat generation in the range of 200 to 400 MWe will have to be shut-down and replaced by CO2-free sources of energy.
Within the possible range of applications of NUWARD SMR, EDF emphasizes not only electricity generation, but also cogeneration of electricity and heat, as well as the possibility of producing decarbonized hydrogen.
Having completed the conceptual design phase early 2023, the teams are now progressing with the basic design phase of NUWARD SMR along the pre-licensing phase. Starting in 2026, a detailed design will be developed and work on the licensing and permitting of the SMR is to begin, so that construction of its first unit in France will begin in 2030.
Appropriate funding to match such ambitions is of an essence. In 2020, the French State granted 50 million euros for conceptual design work, and in February 2022 the government announced a further allocation of 500 million euros until 2030.