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NuScale Power the canary in the small modular nuclear reactor market

SMRs are being marketed as a solution to the climate crisis, but they’re already far more expensive and take much longer to build than renewable and storage resources – that we already have.

Utility Dive, David Schlissel, 21 Mar 23, Davis Schlissel is the Institute for Energy Economics anf Financial Analysis director of resource planning analysis.

NuScale is hoping to be among the first of about a dozen companies trying to take advantage of the much-hyped market for small modular nuclear reactors or SMR. So far, however, the Oregon-based company is looking like the first canary in the coal-mine.

Considered a leader in the new technology, NuScale is marketing its SMR project by claiming that the reactor design project will save time and money – persistent problems for traditional large nuclear plants.

But NuScale and the Utah Municipal Power Systems, its partner in an SMR project planned for Idaho, announced early in January, that the target price for the power from their proposed modular reactor had risen by 53% from $58/MWh to $89/MWh……..

The announcement has serious implications for all would-be SMR manufacturers………………

the new $89/MWh target price already means that power from the NuScale SMR will be much more expensive than renewable and storage resources even with an estimated $4.2 billion in tax-payer subsidies.

……………………………….. The gap is only going to get larger as the costs of building SMRs rise and costs of renewables and storage continue to decline.

………….. Using SMRs as backups for renewables will not be financially feasible

………………………………….evryone – utilities, ratepayers, legislators, federal officials and the general public, should be very sceptical about theindustry’s current claim that the new SMRs will cost less and be built faster than previous designs.


March 26, 2023 - Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA

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