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Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (SOC) Ltd. was engaged on multiple projects that will further the development and deployment of the PBMR design, both in South Africa and in the international community.
Within South Africa, the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) an independent statutory body established under the National Nuclear Regulator Act, Act 47 of 1999 is responsible for issuing licenses related to the siting, design, construction, operation, decontamination, decommissioning and closure of any nuclear installation. PBMR was actively working with the NNR and with Eskom, the national electricity provider, in establishing and updating the safety documentation needed to support licensing of the PBMR Demonstration Power Plant (DPP) project to be sited at Koeberg near Cape Town, South Africa.
Eskom, as applicant and future licence holder, was responsible for submitting all licensing documentation to the NNR that was needed for the NNR to grant the Nuclear Installation Licence for the DPP. PBMR was supporting Eskom in these activities, to include the development of strategies to resolve the set of Key Licensing Issues that have been defined for the project, the completion of a Safety Analysis Report (SAR), and the submittal of supporting documents that, together with the SAR, fully describe the Safety Case for the PBMR Demonstration Power Plant. Additionally, PBMR and Eskom were reviewing with the NNR a series of Requirements Documents, License Documents, and License Guides that will form the regulatory requirements set for the design, construction, startup, and safe operation of the DPP.
PBMR was also working with Necsa (previously known as the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa) to develop the safety case for a Pilot Fuel Plant to be sited at Pelindaba near Pretoria, South Africa. This Pilot Fuel Plant was intended to demonstrate the quality processes needed for large scale fuel sphere manufacturing. The license application for the Pilot Fuel Plant was submitted to the NNR. The Safety Analysis Report was scheduled for formal submittal to the regulator in April 2009, and the construction license was targeted for the end of 2009. The first fuel of PBMR origin to the final, highly successful German specifications was being manufactured in an Advance Fuel Development Laboratory and has under gone successful irradiation testing.
Internationally, PBMR was in pre-application discussions with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that would culminate in the submittal of a formal application for design certification of the PBMR reactor design. These interactions with the NRC was intended to further the international recognition of PBMR technology and help establish the PBMR as the lead Generation IV High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) design.
Last Updated: 6 February 2017
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