Holtec SMR enters GDA

By 7 December 2023 December 11th, 2023 Industry news

Holtec’s SMR-300 reactor has secured £30 million of government funding, and is now entering the generic design assessment.

Holtec Britain has been awarded £30 million from the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund towards the costs of the first two steps of the generic design assessment (GDA) for its small modular reactor (SMR).

“We are pleased to have started GDA after planning the project for over 18 months, and are now building a large team of qualified engineers based out of our new office in Bristol,” said Gareth Thomas, director at Holtec Britain. “In parallel, we are advancing project delivery plans with our global team, unrivalled in nuclear power plant deployment experience.”

The SMR-300 is a pressurised water reactor (PWR) based on existing standards and using fuel similar to that used by current reactors such as Sizewell B, and other new UK reactors under development including Hinkley Point C.

Holtec SMR-300 concept design

Holtec is also shortlisted in the Great British Nuclear SMR competition, with successful bids due to be announced in spring 2024. Holtec says that, if it is successful, it will locate a new factory to build the major mechanical components for a fleet of SMRs contributing around 5GW to the UK grid.

Holtec is working with UK companies including Mott MacDonald, as well as global partners Hyundai Engineering & Construction of South Korea and Mitsubishi Electric of Japan.

The GDA process is managed by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Environment Agency, and is intended to support the construction of a number of new nuclear power stations by approving a standard reactor design which can be built in different locations by different developers. Each build will still require a site-specific licence.

The SMR-300 is the second SMR to enter GDA. Rolls-Royce SMR entered the first phase in April 2022, and the second in April 2023, supported by funding from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund was announced in 2021 to support the development of advanced reactor designs, and is managed by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ). In July 2023, DESNZ announced that two companies had been shortlisted for a full award, and one for partial funding – the other two companies are now going through pre-grant due diligence.