NuScale Energy’s Nuclear Exploration Center (E2 Centre) provides users with a hands-on opportunity to apply the principles of nuclear science and engineering through simulated and realistic nuclear power plant operating scenarios. The center uses state-of-the-art computer modeling to simulate a NuScale VOYGR SMR nuclear power plant control room.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State under the Fundamental Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program, the E2 Centre supports partner countries in developing their nuclear energy programs to meet their clean energy goals, while adhering to the highest international standards for nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation. This project is part of the intergovernmental agreement between the United States and Romania for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, signed in December 2020.
The first E2 Center opened at Oregon State University in November 2020, followed by a second at the University of Idaho at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in August 2021. The third center is located at the Engineering Experiment Station at Texas A&M and opened in November 2021. The fourth opened in October 2022 in Pocatello, Idaho, in collaboration with Idaho State University.
A NuScale VOYGR-6 nuclear power plant in Romania by 2030
In 2021, NuScale Power and state-owned Nuclearelectrica signed a partnership agreement to deploy a 462 MWe NuScale VOYGR-6 nuclear power plant in Romania by the end of the decade. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in June of last year to begin engineering studies, technical reviews, and licensing and permitting activities for the project. A design and preliminary engineering contract was signed in late December by NuScale and RoPower, a joint venture of Nova Power & Gas and Nuclearelectrica, for the site of a former coal-fired power plant in Doicești, Romania, which is the preferred location for deployment of the VOYGR-6 plant.
Key government officials attended the May 15 inauguration of the E2 Centre, including U.S. Ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, and Romanian Energy Minister Virgil Popescu. According to Nuclearelectrica, it is estimated that the NuScale VOYGR-6 nuclear power plant will create about 200 permanent jobs, 1,500 construction jobs, 2,300 production jobs and will allow Romania to avoid the emission of 4 million tons of CO2 per year.
The NuScale Power module on which the VOYGR nuclear power plants are based is a pressurized water reactor integrating all steam generation and heat exchange components in a single 77 MWe unit. It is the first modular reactor design approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company offers a 12-module VOYGR-12 nuclear power plant capable of producing 924 MWe, as well as a 4-module VOYGR-4 (308 MWe) and a 6-module VOYGR-6 (462 MWe), as well as other configurations tailored to customers’ needs.