Jacobs in $58m UK Ultra Safe Nuclear reactor development

Jacobs in $58m UK Ultra Safe Nuclear reactor development

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Jacobs is to support Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation UK (USNC) to design and develop a new micro modular power reactor (MMR).

The UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has awarded USNC a grant of up to $29m toward the development cost of the MMR Energy System nuclear reactor.

Using encapsulated TRISO Particle Fuel and cooled by helium, the MMR Energy System meets the highest safety standards and emits no carbon during operation. It is designed to replace gas plants which are currently used to balance power grids when renewable sources fail to generate electricity due to wind and solar intermittency. The reactor can provide power for urban areas, large industrial users, or off-grid locations, and the U.K. demonstrator will also focus on the production of high-temperature process heat for industrial applications.

The grant, match funded by USNC, will enable the second phase of work toward building a demonstrator of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor by the early 2030s. Seattle-based USNC plans to deploy its MMR Energy System in North America and Europe and has demonstration projects underway at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and at the University of Illinois.

Jacobs has a range of contracts for UK power infrastructure, from nuclear reactors to the power grid and space systems. It is also the majority owner of PA Consulting in Cambridge.

Jacobs will support the front-end engineering design program as a leading subcontractor to USNC. This will include reactor analysis, refueling system, primary and secondary systems, safety systems, associated testing facilities, human factors, safety case and security, licensing and regulation, overall system integration and preparation for delivery of the demonstrator model. 

“This high-temperature reactor has the potential to assist the world’s energy transition and take nuclear power into a new era,” said Jacobs Energy, Security & Technology Senior Vice President Karen Wiemelt. “With 60 years of experience in research, design and operational support for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, Jacobs is ideally placed to support USNC through a range of scientific, engineering and program management capabilities.”;

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