Meeting 21st Century Water Challenges

Clean Energy for Clean Water

In addition to the billions of people who live in energy poverty, hundreds of millions around the world do not have access to clean water because resources are scarce, non-potable, or both.


Interest in NuScale’s advanced SMR technology is high in water-scarce regions, such as in the Middle East, that use fossil fuel as a source of heat and electricity for desalination to meet drinking water needs. The NuScale Power Module™ (NPM), up to 60 MWe generating capacity, enables utility companies to correctly size power plants for current clean energy and water needs, then add capacity as necessary in response to demand.

Man walking through a village at sunset

A single NuScale plant can generate carbon-free electricity for a community, produce clean water through desalination, and provide heat for industrial applications and district heating. Dr. Jose Reyes, Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer of NuScale, introduced the NuScale Diverse Energy Platform (NuDEP) in 2015, highlighting our SMR technology as the nuclear “plug-n-play” solution that provides reliable, flexible power to diverse applications. NuDEP reflects the extremely strong safety performance of the NuScale plant and its unique ability to tailor electric and steam power outputs for different functions, making it a particularly attractive energy source for desalination processes at various scales.

Some facts to illustrate the desalination capacity of a NuScale power plant include:

  • A NuScale 8-module plant, coupled with a reverse osmosis desalination plant, can have one module designated to produce 60 million gallons of desalinated water per day while the remaining modules cost-competitively produce ~400 MWe to the grid. That’s enough carbon-free energy to power a city of about 360,000 people.
  • A 12-module NuScale plant could provide all the water for a city the size of Cape Town, South Africa (a water-scarce city with a population of about 4.0 million).

NuScale’s technology makes it possible for regions with smaller electrical grids and limited infrastructure to add new electrical and water capacity in more appropriate increments. We’ve employed some of the most powerful minds and effective strategies to design smarter plants, which are smaller, more efficient, scalable, and cost-effective to fit more locations and budgets while still meeting expanding energy and water needs.

Purifying Wastewater

Along with desalination, NuScale plants can also power wastewater treatment and water purification facilities. For nations without access to large saline bodies of water and/or significant environmental issues with regard to treatment of sewage, agricultural runoff, and industrial liquid discharge, a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment and subsequent water purification facility could supply much needed drinking water for the population. Water treatment plants from traditional surface and aquifer sources also require electricity for purification and pumping.

NuScale is strongly positioned as a provider of smart, cost-competitive energy solutions for clean water through carbon-free, tech-forward innovation. In a changing climate, it is more important than ever to craft efficient, flexible solutions to solve our most pressing energy and water resource challenges. That’s where the groundbreaking technology of NuScale comes in. We are committed to people, planet, and prosperity through our dedication to continuously improve the quality of life for all by continuously improving nuclear power. In everything we do, we’re changing the power that changes the world to create a secure energy and water future for all.