Keynote address: Nuclear technology: What it takes to go from new idea to first plant deployment.
NuScale Power has created a new kind of nuclear plant.The NuScale concept – based on integration of components, simplification or elimination of systems, and use of passive safety features – was first proposed in 2000 and has attracted more than $900M in funding towards first plant deployment in 2026. This session will cover some of the work NuScale does in collaboration with U.S. national laboratories to commercialize new technologies, including deployment of NuScale’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at the Idaho National Laboratory site.
Derick Botha is a South African-born engineer who has dedicated his career to commercializing innovative nuclear technology. In his current role, he manages the NuScale’s Innovation and Collaboration Program at Portland, Ore-based NuScale. His contributions to developing NuScale’s SMR include gaining regulatory acceptance of novel NuScale design features that are substantially different from regulatory precedent. Prior to joining NuScale in 2011, he worked on the design and U.S. licensing efforts for South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, a high temperature gas reactor technology.
At NuScale, Derick has worked on commercializing a diverse range of new technologies, such as advanced manufacturing, instrumentation, control systems, power cycles and heat exchangers. To develop and demonstrate these new technologies, he manages collaborative projects with national laboratories, universities and industry partners, leveraging the expertise and capabilities of people and institutions outside of NuScale. Several of these collaborative projects involve developing new applications for nuclear energy beyond electricity, with the specific goal of reducing or eliminating the carbon emissions associated with in energy-intensive industrial processes.
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