UAMPS Scales Back NuScale SMR Project

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) said the NuScale small modular reactors project in development for eastern Idaho had been shifted from 12 units to six with each unit now expected to deliver 77MWe rather than 60MWe.

NuScale modelThe project has gone through at least one previous shift from the initial expectation of building 12 modules with 50MWe apiece for a total of 600MWe, a plan announced in 2015. The first announced change was to up power expectations to 60MWe per unit for a total of 720MWe. The new shift calls for six units at 77MWe for a total of 462MWe.

UAMPS spokesman LaVarr Webb, as quoted by media, said there had been an uptick in interest from municipalities since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the plans for the NuScale design last year. However, he also noted that the utilities were “obviously” concerned that the radical turn for commercial nuclear power from large to small plants “is feasible and will be built.”

“Now that we have made significant progress, including a large cost-share from the Department of Energy and NuScale has received design approval, we’re seeing more and more utilities express interest in the plant,” he said.

Commitments have shifted, however. Idaho Falls had expressed interest in investing in 10 MWe, but dropped that commitment in half last year. The Idaho Post Register also reported that the peak of 33 participants in the project had dropped to a current total of 28.

Webb was still confident that the project, with a $1.4 billion cost-share commitment from the Department of Energy was not in jeopardy. “A six-module plant allows us to get to full subscription faster, but we would have reached full subscription regardless,” said Web.

Plans call for NuScale to apply for a combined license in 2024 with the first unit operational by 2029 and construction completed by 2030.

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  • The new 77MWe assumes water cooling, doesn't it? But a few months ago NuScale also said the INL plant would use dry cooling, so that raises Tcold, &decreases ∆T, so decreases efficiency & max electrical power below 77MWe, doesnt it? Or

    am I wrong does the urelate to 77MWe

  • Or am I wrong and the 77MWe is with dry cooling, and max power with water cooling would be greater than 77MWe?