Reduced Water Consumption

Water Efficient Technology

The importance of abundant, clean, and affordable water and its interdependence with energy is a rapidly emerging concern. It takes water to produce energy, and energy to produce water. Minimizing water consumption in the energy production process is therefore a critical part of creating a truly efficient water-energy resource landscape.

The NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) is a smaller, simplified reactor built to meet global demand for both carbon-free energy and clean water with efficiency in mind. The NuScale plant design is especially well suited for the cogeneration of electricity and potable water, since modules can be designated to different functions. The enhanced safety, improved affordability, and deployment flexibilities of our NPM provide a cost-effective and carbon-free approach to expanding global desalination capacity, since the thermal energy produced in a reactor can provide both electricity and steam to desalinate water without the production of greenhouse gases. The NuScale plant design also offers a variety of water-cooling options so that our NPM technology can be used around the world, even in places facing conditions of water scarcity where conservation is a top priority.

NuScale’s advanced technology reduces the environmental footprint of our nuclear plants, with special attention to conserving water resources. Our plant’s water-efficient features include the following:

  • In normal conditions, a NuScale plant’s water consumption per MWh generated falls in the normal range of nuclear plants, coal fired plants, oil-fired plants, gas-fired plants, solar-thermal plants, and biofuel fired plants.
  • Where water is scarce, NuScale can support multiple options for an air-cooled design, which can reduce NuScale plant water consumption to as little as 1.1 gal/MWh; significantly less than the most efficient water-cooled combined cycle plants.
  • Even with a typical wet cooling design, a NuScale plant would consume less water annually than a typical large nuclear power plant simply because of its smaller power output.
  • A water-cooled NuScale plant would have a water consumption efficiency of approximately 740 gal/MWh at similar conditions, which is consistent with the existing nuclear fleet and other large-scale thermoelectric plants. This is in line with industry standards, as EPRI found that nuclear plants, coal fired plants, oil-fired plants, gas-fired plants, solar-thermal plants, biofuel fired plants all fall within the range of 600-800 gal/MWh of water consumption when they use wet cooling towers at nominal conditions.
  • A NuScale plant could also utilize the existing water and transmission infrastructure of a retiring thermoelectric plant (e.g., a retiring coal-fueled plant).
  • The NuScale plant design is based on recycling water and operating in a zero liquid discharge mode so that total overall water usage is reduced.

Our commitment to people, prosperity, and our planet is unmatched as we lead the way toward a zero-emission world. NuScale is changing the power that changes the world, and we can’t wait for you to join us.

Learn more about how NuScale is working with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) Carbon Free Power Project to meet both energy and water needs while prioritizing conservation. Project partners at UAMPS are committed to preserving water quality and reducing water consumption at the planned 720-megawatt NuScale power plant site, which will be operational for commercial electricity generation by 2026.