Powering the Next Generation of Nuclear

We’re thrilled that in just a few years, Idaho will become home of our country’s first SMR nuclear power plant. Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) will be siting a NuScale 12-module plant, capable of generating 924 MWe of clean electricity, within the 890-square mile site of the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL). As detailed in our spring issue, this effort is part of the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), which was launched in 2014 to align with state and national efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase air quality.

To provide some additional context, NuScale Power launched the Western Initiative for Nuclear (Program WIN) in June 2013. Program WIN is a broad, multi-western state collaboration to study the demonstration and deployment of a series of NuScale SMR power plants in Utah, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Arizona. Several western Governors signed onto the project for their states. With over 15GW of coal plants with announced closure dates throughout the U.S. west, there are many opportunities to replace those coal plants with NuScale Plants, providing the clean energy Americans increasingly demand, while preserving the jobs, tax base, and economic vibrancy those coal plants currently provide.

View of flowers and mountains

UAMPS CFPP is the first and most advanced project to come out of this initiative. Potential customers across Program WIN have conducted various activities examining the feasibility of a NuScale deployment within the associated timeframe. With this continued forward movement and interest, NuScale anticipates further deployment opportunities after the first UAMPS project in Idaho.

The timeline for the UAMPS 12-module SMR plant in Idaho is as follows:
NuScale Power Plant Construction Timeline

As discussed in the Collaboration & Partnership Spotlight section, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd. (DHIC) will provide NuScale with their expertise in nuclear pressure vessel manufacturing. To power the next generation of nuclear here in the United States, however, DHIC will join the larger U.S.-led manufacturing team to build NuScale’s groundbreaking NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) and is expected to build a portion of the most critical and complex NPM sub-assemblies for the UAMPS Idaho plant.

The UAMPS CFPP project has become a focal point for building new relationships that will further strengthen NuScale’s cost-competitiveness and overall product realization strategy. In addition to the jobs generated, the supply chain implications are vast: cables, piping, steel, and the necessary related components are million-dollar business opportunities for local and regional manufacturers. Though outlined in our last issue of NUCLEUS, it’s worth restating the direct economic benefits that America’s first SMR plant will provide:

  • Each NuScale Plant will employ about 305 people full-time, with 1,200 peak construction jobs. Domestic supply chain for manufacturing 36 modules per year generates about 12,000 manufacturing jobs.
  • Most of the permanent power station positions will pay an average of $85,000 a year.
  • According to the August 2018 Regional Economic Development of East Idaho (REDI) Report, about $2 billion in direct and indirect benefit from manufacturing and construction activities over the 4 years of the construction period.

NuScale supports UAMPS work with community organizers, elected officials, and stakeholders in the Idaho Falls area to ensure that the plant is successfully integrated into the community. UAMPS community engagement has been a critical aspect of the project’s success, and NuScale has hosted many local and regional leaders on its behalf at our headquarters in Corvallis, Oregon to share updates, answer questions and address any concerns.

In the years since this UAMPS project began, NuScale has also engaged local universities and native American tribes, working to facilitate an open dialogue as the project has progressed. This engagement will also yield dividends in terms of technological talent; engineering and science programs at area universities and within communities will serve as key sources for the skilled and educated resources needed to run and maintain the nation’s first SMR plant.

As NuScale’s first customer, UAMPS will be a leader in energy innovation, and other companies and countries will look to its leadership as they seek to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. This is a game changer for the nuclear industry as we know it. Expect to hear more about this incredible work to bring the country’s first SMR plant to fruition in the coming issues of NUCLEUS and be sure to stay connected with us through website and social media channels Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.