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NuScale design to increase output and lower cost of Small Modular Reactors

Artist rendering of SMR Project in Idaho

PORTLAND, Ore. (KIFI/KIDK)-NuScale Power reported Tuesday its engineers have found a way to create more power from its Small Modular Reactor design that will, in turn, lower overall power production costs.

NuScale said value engineering and advanced testing and modeling tools concluded its power modules could generate an additional 25% more power per module. That would increase power production to a total of 77 MWe (mega watts electric) per module for a total of 944 MWe for the 12-module power plant being proposed in Idaho.

The company also announced options for smaller plant solutions in four and six-module sizes.

Increasing the power capacity of the SMR plant would lower the capital cost of the facility from $3,600 per kilowatt to approximately $2,850. It would also make the 12-module plant a "true competitor" for the gigawatt-size market witihout major changes to the technology.

“Without impacting the unparalleled safety of our design, our engineers have proven yet again that NuScale’s technology is first-class, and can offer significant cost-savings and customization at a level yet to be seen in the nuclear energy market,” said NuScale Power Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins. “With this advancement, NuScale continues to demonstrate that it is the global leader in the race to commercialize small modular reactors.”

Portland-based NuScale Power said the small power plant solutions willl give electricity customers greater options in terms of size, power output, operational flexibility and cost. The company said the new engineering solution will also support a larger cross-section of customer needs in places like island natons, off-rid communities, industrial and government facilities as well as coal power replacements that meet clean-air mandates.

The power increase data will now go to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which will review the proposed "power uprate" as part of NuScale's Standard Design Approval applicaton. NuScale intends to submit that application in 2022.

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