Powering Strong Communities

NuScale, Prodigy team up to develop floating power plants with small modular reactors

NuScale Power and Prodigy Clean Energy recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) furthering their efforts to develop a marine-based nuclear power plant.

In an MOU signed in August 2018, the partners agreed to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of integrating NuScale Power Modules into Prodigy’s marine power stations.

The partners have now agreed to explore business opportunities for a marine-deployed nuclear generating station powered by NuScale Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

Prodigy Clean Energy, based in Canada, designs and develops marine nuclear plants that use small modular reactors and are capable of being deployed for coastal power generation.

Prodigy’s SMR Marine Power Station would be built in a shipyard and would integrate NuScale Power Modules each of which is capable of generating 77 megawatts (MW) and can be configured to include anywhere from 2 to 12 modules for total capacities ranging from 150 MW up to 900 MW.

The completed floating power plant could be sailed to a location and moored in sheltered and protected waters where it would be connected to the existing shore-side transmission system.

Mobile deployment offers customers “significant flexibility since the marine plant could be deployed at one location for the life of the station or deployed at more than one location during the sixty-year lifetime of the NuScale Power Module,” Diane Hughes, vice president of marketing and communications at NuScale, said via email.

When the facility reaches the end of its useful life, it would be defueled and all nuclear systems or components removed before being towed to a dedicated facility for decommissioning. And the fact that the floating power plant and the nuclear reactors are factory built makes them capable of turnkey deployment. “These design features, coupled with the fact that the marine plant is seismically isolated, means that the Marine Power Station will bring affordable, safer, reliable and zero-emissions power to coastal locations worldwide, including to locations where traditional terrestrial nuclear plants can’t be built,” Hughes said.

NuScale continues to pursue land-based nuclear plants featuring small modular reactors. Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) Carbon Free Power Project “continues to progress on schedule with commercial operations of the first NuScale SMR starting by the end of the decade,” Hughes said.

In April 2020 it was disclosed that the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority had signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the development of a new generation of cost-effective, advanced nuclear reactors, such as small modular reactors, at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear Site in Roane County.

TVA signed a similar agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in February 2020 to explore advanced reactor designs as a next-generation nuclear technology with potential for improved safety and increased flexibility.

TVA and Kairos Power recently announced plans to collaborate on deploying a low-power demonstration reactor at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Jeff Lyash, President and CEO of TVA, discussed the Kairos Power news in a recent episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast.