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Salt Lake City-based Energy Strategies – study shows NuScale’s small nuclear reactors too costly for Utah

Environmental group says new nuclear power plant too pricey for Utah’s municipal utilities, By Lisa Riley Roche,  Jun 21st, 2019  SALT LAKE CITY — A group opposed to a new type of nuclear plant being developed said Thursday the price of power produced there would be more than other carbon-free energy sources, making it a bad investment for Utah’s municipal utilities.

“We feel the numbers are independent and speak for themselves,” Michael Shea, a senior policy associate for the Healthy Environmental Alliance of Utah, told reporters at a news conference discussing the findings in a new study.

The study, by Salt Lake City-based Energy Strategies, found power produced by the small modular nuclear reactors to be built in Idaho would cost more than $66 per megawatt hour, compared to as low as just over $38 for wind and solar power.

“It does not make economic sense from a market perspective for a group like (the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems) to be investing in what is essentially a subsidized science project that has not ever been proven,” Shea said…….

Longtime consumer protection watchdog Claire Geddes spoke at the news conference about her confidence in the study and her concerns about the impact of higher costs on the public.

Geddes, who said she has worked on utility issues since 1992, suggested the local governments supervising municipal utilities don’t have the resources to adequately vet the project.

“It’s really not fair to the public,” she said. “I would stress that these cities understand, before they go into it, what the risks are to their citizens and their businesses.”

Both the environmental alliance and Geddes called for further study by the municipal power system before local governments make a final decision next year on what would be a 40-year contract. ……

Besides the cost concerns, Williams said the new type of nuclear plant can’t be presumed to be safe and would still produce at least as much nuclear waste as a traditional plant.

The intent is for the municipal power system to purchase all 12 modular reactors at the plant being built by an Oregon-based company, NuScale Power, system spokesman LaVarr Webb said.

The power generated would be used by the 46 members, mostly municipalities, in Utah and other states, Webb said, and would sold to other users including the federal government for use by the Idaho National Laboratory and the Department of Energy……..

June 22, 2019 - Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

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