Featured Topic: Cost Competitive

NuScale’s Affordable SMR Technology For All

NuScale is leading the way toward a brighter energy future for all with its affordable, reliable, and safe SMR technology. At up to 60 MWe (gross), the NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) is the smallest of the light-water SMRs, broadening its reach and application to markets that require smaller sizes and for customers who wish to make smaller investments in nuclear power.

Up to 12 modules can be added to a facility incrementally, such as in response to load growth, which can reduce initial capital costs. The very first module can generate power and bring in revenue immediately. Our short 36-month construction schedule brings the technology to market sooner, reducing interest during construction and recognizing revenue earlier.

NuScale employees working on module

The simplicity of our SMR design provides competitive levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) compared to other low carbon options. The target LCOE for our first 12-module power plant is $65 per megawatt hour. NuScale shares this target LCOE with confidence, since our plant cost estimate is based on a mature design, an extensive “bottom up” estimate, and actual quotes or pricing on over 14,000 components, materials or commodities. This cost estimate conforms to the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) International’s Class IV cost estimate framework as applied in engineering, procurement, and construction for projecting project costs and budgeting.

NuScale offers a competitive overnight capital cost in comparison to large advanced nuclear. NuScale has an estimated Nth-of-a-kind (NOAK) overnight capital cost of approximately $3,600/KW, backed by our AACE Class IV cost estimate, compared to more than $9,000/KW for recent large nuclear plant projects in Georgia and South Carolina.

These attractive costs are driven by the design’s simplification. The NPM has no reactor coolant pumps, no external steam generator vessels or pressurizer, and no large-bore reactor coolant piping. This translates into a lower cost to fabricate, install, operate, maintain, and decommission, thereby reducing the life-cycle cost to produce energy while lowering operational risk. Our NPMs are fabricated in an off-site facility, bringing cost savings associated with repetitive manufacture.

In January 2020, Energy Northwest released a study by Energy and Environmental Economics (E3). The study calculated energy capacity needs in the Pacific Northwest over the next several decades and analyzed a suite of clean energy resources available to meet that demand, including the role of SMRs in the Northwest’s future electricity system. The E3 report’s findings reveal that SMRs – at NuScale costs – would reduce the cost of achieving a 100% electric sector greenhouse gas reduction by nearly $8 billion per year. This study further demonstrates that NuScale’s cost competitive SMR technology can play an important role in the Northwest’s energy future. But NuScale’s work extends beyond the Northwest—we’re ready to bring our affordable, reliable, and carbon-free SMR technology to states across the U.S. and beyond.