Preferred site chosen for NuScale SMR

11 August 2016

A preferred site has been identified for the construction of a small modular reactor (SMR) at the US Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL), near Idaho Falls.

The SMR plant envisioned by NuScale (Image: NuScale)

Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) CEO Doug Hunter announced that the organization had identified its preferred site from four possible locations within INL's boundaries. Speaking at the Intermountain Energy Summit, he said the 35 acre (14 hectare) plot lies about six miles (10 km) southeast of the Lost River Rest Stop near the junction of US Highways 20 and 26.

The UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) was formally launched in 2015, bringing together UAMPS, NuScale, Energy NorthWest and Enercon Services in a project to build the first-of-a-kind of NuScale's reactor design. Earlier this year the US Department of Energy granted a permit to UAMPS allowing it to perform site selection and characterization activities within the INL site. Hunter said the preferred site would not interfere with any existing INL facilities or research.

The SMR design for the CFPP is being provided by NuScale Power of Portland, Oregon. Engineered with passive safety features, the 50 MWe NuScale Power Module could see up to 12 individual modules installed in a single facility. The first-of-a-kind commercial plant would include a reactor building, turbine building, used fuel storage area, administration and other buildings.

NuScale chief commercial officer Mike McGough told the conference the company is "nearly ready" to submit a reactor design certification application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company has previously said that it plans to submit a construction and operating licence (COL) application referencing the design in late 2017 or early 2018.

Regional agency UAMPS - a political subdivision of the State of Utah that provides wholesale electricity to community-owned power systems in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming - established the CFPP to provide for additional mid-sized baseload electrical generating capacity to meet the expected future needs of its members. The move followed the formation of the Western Initiative for Nuclear (WIN) collaboration, set up by NuScale in 2013 to study the demonstration and deployment of a multi-module NuScale SMR plant in the mid-western USA by 2024.

Earlier this year NuScale confirmed it intends to participate in a UK government competition to identify the most suitable SMR design for possible future deployment.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News