NuScale goes public, signs contract for SMR manufacturing

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New York Stock Exchange (Source: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Small Modular Reactor (SMR) developer NuScale has merged with Spring Valley Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, to begin operating as NuScale Power Corporation on the New York Stock Exchange as of May 3.

The listing, under the tickers ‘SMR’ and ‘SMR WS’ makes NuScale the world’s first publicly traded SMR technology provider.

NuScale Power Corporation is expected to have an enterprise value of around $1.9 billion which will provide significant capital for the company to scale and accelerate the commercialization of its reactor technology, the company said in a statement.

“Today marks a historic moment for NuScale as we become the first publicly traded company focused on the design and deployment of SMR technology. As a public company, we can accelerate our efforts to help meet the world’s urgent clean energy needs,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale John Hopkins.  

Following the merger, NuScale received proceeds of approximately $380 million, prior to transaction expenses, which includes $235 million from the private investment in public equity (PIPE) investors, including S Private Equity, Nucor, SailingStone Capital Partners, Samsung C&T Corporation and Segra Capital Management, with participation by Spring Valley’s sponsor which is backed by Pearl Energy Investment Management, LLC, it said.

Separately, NuScale has signed an agreement with Doosan Enerbility to commence full-scale manufacturing of NuScale SMRs, Doosan said in a statement.

The SMRs are to be supplied to the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) power plant project, which is scheduled for completion by 2029.

Doosan said it will begin production of the large forged materials used in the SMR manufacturing later this year and start full-scale manufacturing of the SMR main equipment in the second half of 2023.

“NuScale welcomes Doosan Enerbility’s participation as a strategic partner in starting key equipment manufacturing for the first SMR nuclear power plant to be built in the United States. NuScale expects that Doosan will greatly contribute to the commercialization of the NuScale SMR with its world-class manufacturing capability,” Hopkins said in the statement.   

US awards space propulsion contract to USNC

The United States’ Defense Innovation Union (DIU) has awarded two Prototype Other Transaction (OT) contracts to demonstrate the next generation of nuclear propulsion and power capability for spacecraft to Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC) and Avalanche Energy, it said in a statement.

The companies will be testing solutions that give small spacecraft the ability to maneuver at-will in cislunar space and enable high-power payloads that will support the expansion of the Department of Defense space missions, it said.

“Advanced nuclear technologies will provide the speed, power, and responsiveness to maintain an operational advantage in space,” said U.S. Air Force Maj Ryan Weed, Program Manager for the Nuclear Advanced Propulsion and Power (NAPP) program at DIU in the statement.

“Nuclear tech has traditionally been government-developed and operated, but we have discovered a thriving ecosystem of commercial companies, including start-ups, innovating in space nuclear."

USNC will demonstrate a chargeable, encapsulated nuclear radioisotope battery (EmberCore) for propulsion and power applications in space which will be capable of scaling to 10x higher power levels compared to plutonium systems, and provide more than 1 million kWh of energy from just a few kilos of fuel, it said.

Meanwhile, Avalanche’s Orbitron uses electrostatic fields to trap fusion ions in conjunction with a magnetron electron confinement scheme to overcome charge density limits. The resulting fusion burn produces energy particles which can power a high-efficiency propulsion system.

DIU expects that its NAPP program will have a direct impact on how the U.S. employs space power, ushering in an era where spacecraft can maneuver tactically in cislunar space, the DIU said.

Fins withdraw Hanhikivi 1 license

Finish company Fennovoima has withdrawn the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant Construction License Application after terminating the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract of plant delivery with RAOS Project due to significant delays and inability to deliver the project, Fennovoima said in a statement.

The company withdrew the application on May 24 after terminating the EPC contract with RAOS Project, a subsidiary of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom on May 2.

Following the termination of the EPC Contract, Fennovoima said that there have been significant and growing delays over recent years.

“The war in Ukraine has worsened the risks for the project. RAOS has been unable to mitigate any of the risks,” it said in the May 2 statement.

“This means, that cooperation with RAOS Project is terminated with immediate effect and both the design and licensing work and works at the Hanhikivi 1 site with RAOS project end.”

Work at the Pyhäjoki site related to the EPC Contract have stopped and the company is now focusing on maintaining safety and security, it said, adding that it expects significant impact from the contract termination decision and has kicked-off change negotiations for its employees.

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