Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and NuScale are taking steps towards commercialization of the first small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plant in the United States.
UAMPS is a political subdivision of the State of Utah that provides comprehensive wholesale electric-energy, transmission, and other energy services, on a nonprofit basis, to community-owned power systems throughout the Intermountain West. UAMPS members are located Utah, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming. UAMPS determined the need for a new, carbon-free capacity to compensate for the expected retirement of other thermal power generating assets. It also felt its members needed a medium-sized, and flexible generating source as part of a balanced portfolio for their energy mix.
In 2015, as part of its long-term carbon emissions avoidance strategy, UAMPS formally launched the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP). In August 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a second, $16.7 million cost-shared financial assistance award to NuScale Power, LLC for the preparation of a combined construction and operating license application (COLA) for the UAMPS CFPP.
Important steps continue towards commercialization of the CFPP, like initial licensing and investigative activities that are underway with the expectation that COLA preparation—including selection of the preferred site for the project—will be completed in 2020.
In 2016 the DOE issued a site use permit granting access to Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for the purposes of identifying potential locations for the NuScale plant. If suitable, the use of a preferred site for such purposes is 99 years from the commercial operation date for the first nuclear power module at the CFPP.
UAMPS plans to commence site preparation in 2021, with nuclear construction commencing in 2023. The UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) plans for the first NuScale Power Module™ to achieve commercial operation in 2026 and the remaining 11 modules in 2027.