Nuclear energy is still widely used in many countries around the world, although it isn’t necessarily the best nor is it the safest. We’ve already seen a couple of accidents take place that should act as a warning that maybe we should start seeking out safer and cleaner alternatives.
However, until that happens, a company called NuScale has created what could possibly be the world’s first modular nuclear reactor that has actually received a design certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This means that it has met all the necessary safety requirements and could be potentially licensed and used in various energy-related projects.
So what makes this modular reactor so different? For starters, it is relatively smaller compared to an actual physical nuclear power plant. It measures 23 meters by 5 meters, and is capable of producing 50 megawatts of electricity. Due to its modular nature, it is smaller and also more portable and can be easily deployed.
In terms of operation, it functions like how you would expect a nuclear reactor to function. However, it uses a passive cooling system that will not rely on pumps or moving parts, thus ensuring that it can continue to operate safely. We’re not sure when we will see these modular nuclear reactors deployed, but NuScale is aiming to have them deployed by the mid-2020s.