NuScale cuts jobs, 'refocuses on key strategic areas'

08 January 2024

Small modular reactor (SMR) developer NuScale Power Corporation has announced measures, including the loss of 154 employees, which it says will save USD50-60 million a year and "better position itself commercially, financially, and strategically".

How a NuScale plant could look (Image: NuScale)

NuScale President and CEO John Hopkins said the company's SMR technology - the only one to have received US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval - was "already many years ahead of the competition ... today, commercialisation of our SMR technology is our key objective, which includes near-term deployment and manufacturing".

In a news release issued on Monday, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company said it was "taking steps to transition from R&D to commercialisation and aims to ... align resources with core priorities, which include advancing revenue-generating projects, securing new orders and positioning NuScale towards long-term success".

NuScale's VOYGR SMR - a pressurised water reactor with all the components for steam generation and heat exchange incorporated into a single 77 MWe unit - is under consideration for construction in various countries around the world including in the USA, Romania and in Poland, where a plan by copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Mied┼║ SA to build a power plant based on NuScale Power's SMR has been approved by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

However, in November NuScale and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems mutually agreed to terminate the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), which was to have featured six NuScale power modules generating 462 MWe of electricity and which was pencilled in for operation by 2029. The CFPP had targeted 80% subscription for the project by the end of 2023, but the parties said it had become clear that they would not have enough subscription to support deployment.

NuScale had placed its first upper reactor pressure vessel long-lead production order with Doosan Enerbility in March 2023 for the CFPP - the company intends to transfer those modules to its next customer, Hopkins said during an American Nuclear Society event in November.

NuScale Power was the first SMR developer to undergo a business combination to accelerate the commercialisation of its technology. In May 2022, it merged with Spring Valley Acquisition Corporation to create the world's first publicly traded SMR technology provider. Its shares initially rose by 50% in value, but have fallen back in recent months and closed on Friday at less than one-third of their value in May 2022.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News