Cost-Competitive Energy

The NuScale Power Module™ is an advanced nuclear technology that outcompetes all other small modular reactors (SMRs) when it comes to economics and capability. NuScale’s supply chain is based in the United States, and the manufacturing of just three 12-module plants per year would support 12,000 jobs across the country. NuScale SMR exports to other countries will also significantly benefit the U.S. economy. According to the Department of Commerce, every $1 billion of exports by U.S. companies represents at least 5,000 jobs.

Two major cost components that NuScale's revolutionary design addresses to keep the cost of electricity low for consumers include (1) construction/capital costs, and (2) operating costs. Research shows that NuScale’s modular approach provides nearly $4 billion in savings compared to the total capitalized cost of a reference reactor. Capitalized construction cost per unit of power is only 62 percent of the reference reactor. With the simplicity of NuScale’s design and the economies of small, NuScale has engineered an inherently safe and cost-effective solution. By removing much of the construction from the site and placing it in a controlled factory environment, we’ve ensured that cost and schedule certainty are improved over that of currently operating nuclear plant designs.

Since the NuScale Power Module™ is far less complex than other designs, assembly and installation on-site are simplified. Simpler on-site construction also translates into shorter construction times, leading to significant cost savings in the financing of facilities. In addition, the completion of discrete NuScale module systems leads to earlier electricity generation, as early-install modules can operate while the installation of additional modules is ongoing.

Our smarter, more efficient plant design lowers operational costs in the following ways:

  • Staggered refueling: A single NuScale module can be refueled while the other 11 modules continue providing 92% of the facility’s electrical output. This staggered refueling is unique to NuScale’s scalable technology, only taking 10 days to complete.
  • Turbine size: Smaller electric turbine sizes allow for the use of standard work horse industrial turbines that are easily maintained.
  • Simplified systems: Factory built assurances reduce errors, and fewer nuclear systems translate into less required maintenance.
  • Centralization: Operations of multiple module sites lead to centralized maintenance synergies and reduced costs. NuScale SMRs use two-thirds less mechanics and staff, which also translates to a lower operating and maintenance cost.

The small, scalable nature of the NuScale plant also reduces the environmental footprint. 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. A proposed 720 MWe NuScale SMR would have a 35-acre footprint, while a traditional nuclear plant generating the same amount of electricity would require nearly 600 acres. Our innovative, scalable SMR design and smarter, more efficient plant architecture offers unparalleled flexibility, adaptability, and cost-effectiveness. A NuScale plant can provide 60 MW of electricity (the amount needed to power 45,000 U.S. homes) at 99.98 percent reliability over the plant’s 60-year lifetime. That equates to only four days in 60 years where there would be zero output from a NuScale facility. As our country faces the inevitable retirement of a range of fossil fuel plants due to the challenges of aging infrastructure and untenable economic costs, NuScale’s scalable advanced nuclear technology can provide abundant, reliable, and cost-competitive clean energy with more long-term fuel price predictability than other options such as natural gas that still produce substantial CO2 emissions.

Lights shining on planet

NuScale has experienced considerable global interest in the cost-competitiveness of its groundbreaking technology, and we’ve entered into some exciting new partnerships as a result. NuScale also has over 400 patents granted or pending in 19 countries. Our majority investor is the Fluor Corporation— a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power. We also continue to work with our other U.S.-based investors and partners. Since 2013, the U.S. DOE has supported NuScale Power with over $266 million in cost-sharing financial assistance to accelerate our design development and certification by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

At NuScale, we truly value our collaborations and always aim to deliver high-returns on capital to our investors and partners. We look forward to continuing these relationships as well as forge new ones to provide the smarter, cleaner, safer, and cost-competitive energy solutions that will power all of humankind into a brighter future.