Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has announced that it will join a project building a small modular reactor (SMR) for the first time, in an apparent move to find a breakthrough amid sluggish sales following the government’s energy policy to exit nuclear power.
Doosan said Sunday that it signed a contract with U.S. reactor developer NuScale Power to supply the reactor module and other equipment. The subsidiary of Doosan Group has made an equity investment, whose total amount would reach 44 million U.S. dollars under the new deal, in the American firm.
Having developed the SMR with the support of the Department of Energy, NuScale Power has recently become the world’s first company to have its SMR design certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Doosan Heavy Industries expects that it will be able to supply equipment worth at least 1.3 billion dollars for the project.
The SMR is a small-sized reactor developed to supply electric power in remote areas and small towns located far from power plants. NuScale Power plans to complete the final certification process by September next year and start its first commercial operation in 2026. Acknowledging Doosan’s technology related to nuclear power, the U.S. company has discussed ways for cooperation since August last year.
Industry observers say that Doosan aims to find a breakthrough now that the government’s anti-nuclear policy has brought down the operation rate of nuclear plants to around 50 percent and that the company suffered a net loss of 72 billion won in the third quarter alone.
“The SMR market has great potential for growth as its construction is sought not only in the United States but also in China, Russia and the Middle East. We expect that it will expand further into Canada and the United Kingdom,” said Na Ki-yong, head of the Nuclear Power Plant BG at Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.