NuScale Power, a Corvallis company that's developing a small, safe, scalable and modular nuclear power system, drew some attention in Tuesday's edition of The New York Times.
The Times' "Science Illustrated" feature took a look - mostly through graphics - at how nuclear plants might be getting a lot smaller in the future and offered as an example some details of NuScale's design.
The Times piece noted how traditional plants are "sprawling nuclear estates that can cover thousands of acres and come with huge price tags. But new power plant designs, which are inching their way through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approval process, may have sites - and costs - that are a small fraction of current ones. NuScale, a company in Oregon that has already presented its safety analysis and other studies to the N.R.C., has a design based around multiple small reactors."
Bruce Landry, the chief marketing officer for NuScale, said Tuesday that the genesis of the Times piece came when a couple of NuScale officers happened to sit next to Hannah Fairfield, the Times reporter who helped work on the feature, during a flight to Washington, D.C.
"She picked it up very quickly," Landry said, and had numerous consultations with Jose Reyes, NuScale's chief technology officer.
The Times coverage is the latest in what Landry called a continued upswing in interest in modular and scalable nuclear-power technology.
"They've really become accepted technology," he said, "not just in the industry but on Capitol Hill."
In fact, he said, the Senate Energy Committee will hold hearings on the technology later this month, and three pieces of legislation are being introduced in Congress to help support development of the technology and to help companies deal with the regulatory process.
Landry said NuScale continues to be on pace to win governmental design certification sometime in 2014. The company was formed in 2007 to commercialize research originally done at Oregon State University.