Local benefits from Idaho SMR

15 August 2016

The proposed construction and operation of NuScale's small modular reactor (SMR) near Idaho Falls will have a significant impact on the local economy, an economic impact analysis commissioned by the city's mayor has found.

Mayor Rebecca Casper commissioned the preliminary economic impact analysis through the Idaho Department of Labor to examine the potential economic impact of a project to build the first commercial NuScale SMR on a site at the US Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL). More in-depth economic impact studies will be conducted as the project progresses.

According to the study, preliminary estimates indicate that the first phase - construction - of the project will cost $2.8 billion and directly support up to 1000 jobs, while creating or sustaining an additional 11,808 jobs in the local economy through indirect and induced economic activity. The operations phase would support 360 jobs annually, with indirect and induced economic activity creating or sustaining a further 1147 jobs.

City of Idaho Falls economic development coordinator Dana Briggs said the SMR project would spur growth, development and career opportunities in eastern Idaho. "As shown by the data gathered in this economic impact analysis, realizing the location of a Small Modular Reactor at the INL site will have a tremendous impact on our local and regional economy," she said.

Briggs noted that the study had not included the impact of the SMR supply chain. "Regional companies are well positioned to provide supplies, technology, and expertise for SMR technology to be deployed throughout the nation and world. The economic possibilities are mutually beneficial for our businesses, citizens, and community. This is an excellent opportunity for our region," she said.

Last week, public power consortium Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems announced the selection of a preferred site for the construction of the plant within the INL boundary. NuScale is preparing to submit a reactor design certification application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with plans for a construction and operating licence application referencing the design in late 2017 or early 2018.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: Small Modular Reactors, USA