Minimizing Environmental Footprint

Mitigating the Environmental Impacts of Electrical Generating Technology

When we started this venture of creating a revolutionary reactor, we knew we had to focus on more than just making a cost-effective technology. As we are changing the power that changes the world, we believe that we also have a responsibility to protect the environment on which we all depend. That’s why we’ve worked hard to minimize the environmental footprint of our small modular reactor (SMR) and the power plants that will house them by maximizing energy density in the following ways: 

Reduced Land Area

One way to understand energy density is to examine the amount of land area required for a technology. To generate 1,000 MWe of power, a NuScale SMR power plant would require less than one percent of the land area that renewables such as biomass, wind, solar, and hydropower need for the same amount of generation. Our innovative, scalable SMR design and smarter, more efficient plant architecture offers unparalleled flexibility and adaptability that other electrical generation plants lack. 

These factors dramatically reduce the area of land needed to site a NuScale plant, so that we can maximize opportunities for other beneficial uses such as more land for species and critical habitat protection, recreation, and aesthetic value. NuScale plants will have the capacity to generate clean, efficient power for communities while also allowing for natural land and water processes, all without the types of physical infrastructure that could disrupt migratory bird patterns or the life cycles of ocean bottom-dwelling organisms. 

Click on the video below to see exactly how a NuScale power plant that generates 1,000 MWe compares to renewables infrastructure or traditional thermal plants with regard to the land area needed: 

Unmatched Fuel Efficiency

Another way to view energy density is through the lens of fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency is determined by the amount of energy that can be produced per unit weight of fuel. For example, when comparing coal and low-enriched uranium, a kilogram of anthracite coal produces 8.72 kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough to power a 100W bulb for 3.6 days, while a kilogram of low-enriched uranium produces a million kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough to power a 100W bulb for 1,142 years. The kilowatt hours produced from other combustion fuels vary from coal by only +/- 50 percent. In other words, nothing comes close to the fuel efficiency of uranium. This efficiency is complemented by another benefit: significantly less waste generated when compared to that of coal-fired and other electrical generating technology. 

NuScale’s mission is to provide scalable advanced nuclear technology for the production of electricity, heat, and water to improve the quality of life for people around the world. The combination of our innovative SMR design, reduction of land area needed, and unmatched fuel efficiency maximizes energy density and minimizes environmental footprint while producing clean, abundant energy for all. 

We believe that to change the world, we have a responsibility to protect and preserve it. This includes changing the way that we create energy with a strong commitment to people, planet, and prosperity in all that we do.