Westinghouse Electric Company is a world leader in the development and commercialization of nuclear power plants, with 70+ years of successful global experience in turning nuclear technologies from design to commercial products, globally. To continue this legacy, Westinghouse has established technology innovation programs aimed at supporting operating plants to reduce cost and improve efficiency and is developing next-generation technologies to address future global market needs. With this latter goal in mind, Westinghouse is developing a next- generation, medium-capacity nuclear power plant based on lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) technology. The Westinghouse LFR’s mission is to complement Advanced Passive LWRs by providing enhanced application versatility for mid-to-long term markets while aiming at a superior level of economic performance relative to any other advanced non- LWRs, while remaining competitive with Advanced Passive LWRs.
With the objective of strengthening and diversifying its reactor portfolio for global markets, Westinghouse has developed a roadmap which paves the way to a commercially viable next-generation nuclear energy technology that uses liquid lead as the primary coolant. LFR technology was selected upon a cross-comparison among all known nuclear technologies, based on criteria supporting global commercialization and spanning safety, economics, market versatility, fuel cycle sustainability, technology readiness, etc.
The Westinghouse LFR achieves the following important objectives for its customers:
The Westinghouse LFR is a mid-size, highly simplified, passively safe, compact Generation IV reactor plant. Starting from a scalable design architecture, the LFR’s output has been economically optimized at a net power output of approximately 450 MWe. Westinghouse LFR is envisioned to be developed starting with a lower-power demonstrator which, in addition to demonstrating key performance characteristics of the subject technology, will also allow to address the needs of a broad spectrum of customers and associated grid sizes.
Key features of the Westinghouse LFR include:
A comprehensive description of the LFR design and of the associated development program can be found in the literature listed under “Additional Resources”.
The Westinghouse LFR program’s ultimate objective is developing an innovative reactor fleet based on lead technology with best-in-class safety, economics, sustainability and operability performance. The first step toward commercialization is the near-
term deployment of a reduced-scale LFR relying on proven materials to accelerate deployment. This plant will serve as demonstration of LFR technology and as platform for collecting experimental data and operational experience that will subsequently be used to support the development of the commercial- size plant. Focused research and development efforts are ongoing to support this first milestone, including the setup of eight state-of-the-art test facilities in the United Kingdom, whose operation started in 2023 to demonstrate key materials, components, systems and phenomena of the Westinghouse LFR. These activities are conducted simultaneously with, and feed into, LFR plant design, with the goal to de-risk the technology further, validate assumptions and advance design maturity. The collaboration between Westinghouse and global organizations with expertise in lead technology and fast reactor design will ensure the program’s success and is a key element of Westinghouse’s strategy.
Once again Westinghouse is poised to shape tomorrow energy with the delivery of commercially competitive, reliable, zero-emission clean and sustainable energy, with unparalleled safety and flexible operations: the Westinghouse LFR.