Samsung C&T and NuScale discuss construction of SMRs
Samsung C&T executive discussed opportunities related to the construction of small nuclear reactors with Portland, Oregon's NuScale Power.
During a meeting in Oregon on Monday, the two companies agreed to the formation of a "comprehensive partnership" to build small modular reactors (SMR) in Idaho and in Romania and other European countries, according to a statement from Samsung C&T released Tuesday.
No new agreements were signed by the companies at the meeting.
Samsung C&T has invested $70 million in New York Stock Exchange-listed NuScale. According to NuScale Power's 8-K filing dated April 29, Samsung C&T controls 3.5 percent of the company's stock.
In April, GS Energy, Doosan Enerbility and Samsung C&T signed an MOU with NuScale outlining the construction and operation of SMRs. In the agreement, Samsung C&T is designated as the builder of the reactors.
SMRs are generally reactors that can produce 300 megawatts of power or less, compared to the average of about 1 gigawatt for conventional reactors. Manufactured as units, SMRs are believed to have greater scalability and siting flexibility. They are also cheaper as they can be mass-produced.
The actual reactor part of these units would fit into a 2-meter cube, and the reduced volume may disproportionately lower the risks associated with the energy source.
With the inauguration of Yoon Suk-yeol, Korea has switched from a phase-out of nuclear power towards the widening adoption of the energy source. Nuclear energy has emerged as an attractive alternative to carbon dioxide-producing fossil fuels as it doesn't directly produce greenhouse gases and has higher energy efficiency than renewables like solar and wind power.
In the discussions this week between NuScale and Samsung C&T, the Korean company's role in the development of SMRs was confirmed. The two companies agreed to share technology and expertise and utilize Samsung C&T in the construction of SMRs in Europe. They also discussed the production of hydrogen.
"Along with power generation through SMRs, the two companies agreed to combine their efforts for the research and commercialization of hydrogen production from high-temperature steam," Samsung C&T said in a statement.
"The reinforced partnership with the leading SMR player will serve us as a foothold for expansion into the global SMR market expected to grow steadily," Samsung C&T CEO Oh Se-chul said. "Samsung C&T is committed to becoming a leader in ESG by fortifying its new green businesses portfolio composed of SMR, hydrogen, ammonia, and renewables."
"While NuScale works towards our mission of bringing our groundbreaking, advanced nuclear technology to countries and communities around the world, we are especially grateful to have a world-renowned partner in Samsung C&T," said John Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]