Portland, Oregon-based, small modular reactor developer NuScale Power and the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) said they had executed agreements to facilitate the development of the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), which will deploy NuScale Power Modules™ at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
The agreement with the company's first customer sets in motion a cost-reimbursable development agreement that will provide estimating, development, design and engineering services for their first SMR as part of UAMPS Carbon-Free Power Project.
"Pursuant to the initial orders from UAMPS, Fluor Corporation and NuScale (as a subcontractor to Fluor) are to develop higher maturity cost estimates and initial project planning work for the licensing, manufacturing and construction of the CFPP," the joint announcement said.
“The orders between NuScale and UAMPS mark the next major step in moving forward with the commercialization of NuScale’s groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) technology,” said John Hopkins, NuScale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This is the first step in a prudent deployment plan that could result in the order of NuScale Power Modules in 2022. We are appreciative of UAMPS’ strong partnership and collaboration as we forge a new energy frontier together.”
The orders are the result of recently signed agreements to manage and de-risk the development of the Carbon Free Power Project. These include the Development Cost Reimbursement Agreement (DCRA) between UAMPS and NuScale, and the $1.355 billion multi-year Financial Assistance Award from the U.S. Department of Energy to CFPP LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAMPS established to develop, own and operate the CFPP.
In addition, UAMPS and Fluor Corporation have signed a cost-reimbursable development agreement to provide estimating, development, design, and engineering services to develop the site-specific cost estimates for the deployment of the NuScale technology at the INL site. Concurrently, UAMPS will continue to evaluate the size of the NuScale power plant as Fluor refines the engineering of alternatives to ensure that the plant is the best overall cost of energy and size to meet the CFPP participants’ subscription needs.
NuScale’s SMR became the first and only design to ever receive approval from the NRC in August 2020. NuScale and UAMPS expect that the initial orders will address the final step in the regulatory process to proceed with plans to build a NuScale Power Plant as they plan for and develop the Combined License Application (COLA) for the CFPP. The UAMPS COLA is expected to be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by the second quarter of 2023. NRC review of the COLA is expected to be completed by the second half of 2025, with nuclear construction of the project beginning shortly thereafter.
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It seems that the SMR situation has been going on in terminally long. There has been agreements, developments, discussions, MOU's, and lots of government money thrown at the industry. What I have been waiting to see is not plans, mock-ups or endless babble about SMR's. But an actual working, functioning prototype. After all, until that happens, it is just a pipe dream that billions of dollars have yet to make reality.