- A NuScale 924 MWe SMR plant, that includes 12 NuScale Power Modules, provides an LCOE in the range of $45/MWh to $65/MWh depending on the financial modeling assumptions of the power plant owner for municipal utility and investor-owned utility respectively based upon the costs for a deployment at a generic greenfield site located in the southeastern region of the U.S.
- Annual O&M costs for a NuScale 12-module plant are lower than the top quartile currently operating U.S. nuclear plants.
- Carbon taxes serve to raise the LCOE of fossil thermal generation such as natural gas interim solutions increasing the competitiveness of a NuScale plant.
- NuScale’s scalable SMR technology can be implemented incrementally, which gives the plant owner the ability to generate revenue well before construction completion of the entire facility.
A NuScale 12-module small modular reactor (SMR) power plant can be built on an existing coal power plant site with a small land footprint of around 12 hectares. Smaller NuScale 4- and 6-module plants require proportionately less land.
Some coal plant infrastructure can be repurposed and reused.
- Examples include: the cooling water delivery systems, demineralized water, potable water, site fire protection, switchyard, and buildings (e.g., administrative, training, warehouses).
Capital cost savings could be on average approximately $100M depending on the site.
The 12-module NuScale plant would preserve the local tax base and provide continued, and perhaps greater, economic benefit to community. It would:
- Employ about 270 people in full-time, high paying quality jobs
- Retain the coal power plant workforce:
- Many positions are directly transferable from coal to nuclear, e.g., maintenance
- Other positions can move into SMR power plant jobs with cross training, e.g., plant operators
- Nuclear plant roles are typically higher paying than roles at coal power plants, providing for greater economic impact in existing coal plant communities.
Use of small modular reactors avoids the costly natural gas interim step of converting the coal plant to natural gas and then having to decommission the plant a decade later. Plus, SMR plants provide more jobs than gas plants, thus are a better option to retain the entirety of the coal plant workforce.
Timeline for achieving a dispatchable system by 2030.
- NuScale’s SMR technology, having attained design approval by the U.S. NRC in September 2020, is ready for near term deployment, with the ability to deliver modules as early as 2028.
- Fluor Corporation, as the majority investor in NuScale and having supported analysis for coal plant repurposing, is ready to assess specific coal plant sites for NuScale SMR implementations with a focus on:
- Plant configuration for size, fit, and function,
- Cost-effective plant infrastructure reuse, including balance of plant items,
- e.g., cooling water delivery systems, demineralized water, potable water, site fire protection, and switchyard, as well as administrative, warehouses, and other existing buildings/structures.
- Ensuring appropriate location of the plant for the intended use of the energy produced (i.e., district heating and process heat power plants must be located close to end users)
- NuScale’s SMR scalable power plant solutions can support a variety of clean energy needs, be optimized to fit a variety of coal plant replacement needs, and be located in various geographic areas.
- NuScale’s flexible operations, load following capabilities, and >95% capacity factor provide always available clean energy and ease of grid integration with renewables.
- The flexible implementation model for NuScale’s technology, and the product portfolio (4-NPM, 6-NPM and 12-NPM configurations), can provide a region with the ability to utilize a fleet management model for large plant implementations as well as various sized coal plant replacements (i.e., identical technology can be implemented across a broad range of energy needs).
- With the replacement of a coal plant with a comparable installed capacity by a NuScale SMR power plant will require very little, if any, changes to the transmission system.