The project, being planned by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), is known as the Carbon-Free Power Project (CFPP). UAMPS is in the first phase of investigating the feasibility of building up to 12 reactors of 50 MW each at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls.
The feasibility analysis includes engineering and regulatory activities to complete a site selection analysis.
NuScale said that reaching the 150 MW subscription level triggers continued work and evaluation of the project, including increased focus on site characterisation and preparation of a combined licence application, or Cola, for submittal to the NRC.
NuScale said the CFPP would be the nation’s first small modular nuclear reactor project, ushering in a new generation of smaller, safer, more flexible, less expensive, carbon-free nuclear energy.
“UAMPS members have embraced the project as a key step toward decarbonising their energy portfolios, while providing steady, resilient electricity to customers,” NuScale said.
“A vital feature of CFPP is that its 12 small reactors would be flexible in dispatchable power output, allowing it to provide a steady, adjustable supply of carbon-free electricity that complements and enables large amounts of renewable energy, including wind and solar.”
Construction of the first SMR plant is scheduled to begin in 2023 with the first 60 MW module becoming operational in 2026. Other modules would come online soon after.
Last year, UAMPS reached an agreement with the Energy Department that would use one of the reactors for research and development, and another for power needed by the Idaho National Laboratory, considered the nation’s primary federal nuclear research lab. Scientists at the lab will have access to one of the modular reactors for experiments.