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NuScam’s (sort of) small nuclear reactors rejected by Utah Taxpayers Association

Critics of planned nuclear power project urge Utah cities to pull out before it’s too late, Utah Taxpayers Association warns it believes proposal is too costly, not transparent   DeseretNews, By Amy Joi O’Donoghue@Amyjoi16  Aug 4, 2020   SALT LAKE CITY The Utah Taxpayers Association and a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are urging cities that have signed on to a planned nuclear power plant in Idaho to get out while they can before costs become too great.

NuScale’s Small Modular Reactor is planned for construction at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls and would provide 720 megawatts of power, or enough energy for 720,000 homes.

The Carbon Free Power Project is promoted as the next generation design for nuclear power, featuring 12 distinct modules, with the first scheduled to come online in 2029 with the 11 others following the next year.

The project is a collaborative effort involving the U.S. Department of Energy, NuScale and the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, a political subdivision of the state of Utah. ……

there are several off-ramps in those phases for cities to exit, one of which is coming up Sept. 14. That deadline prompted the taxpayers association to urge cities to get out now before they get trapped into paying millions for a technology it says is unproven.

“Small modular reactor power is just not cost competitive,” said Rusty Cannon, vice president of the taxpayer group, adding participating cities and districts should hold a public vote to withdraw from the project……..

Peter Bradford, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said enthusiasm over new developments in nuclear technology that turned out to be flawed have cost ratepayers and taxpayers in multiple states billions of dollars.

He said that of 31 projects pending before the commission in 2009, only two remain — with the rest canceled or indefinitely postponed.

“The stranded costs of nuclear plants paid off by customers in the 1990s exceeded $50 billion nationwide,” he said. “Each period of abject failure is followed by an array of new proposals.”…….

The project is backed heavily by the U.S. Department of Energy, which gave NuScale a competitive award of $226 million in 2013 to develop the technology. Two years later, the federal agency gave NuScale $16.7 million for licensing preparation……..

Cannon and Bradford also criticized the municipal power association for not being transparent enough because its briefing meetings are exempt from the Utah open meetings law and are closed………

August 6, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, opposition to nuclear, politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA

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