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Small Modular Reactor Project Being Developed by UAMPS Moves Forward

Participants’ governing boards in the Carbon Free Power Project being developed by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems are moving forward with the development and deployment of a small modular reactor project, UAMPS reported on Feb. 28.

With the commitments, the CFPP Project Management Committee approved a new budget and plan of finance.

That action will move the small modular nuclear reactor project into an aggressive 2023 workplan, which focuses on completing the preparation of the application to construct and operate the plant, to be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in January 2024.

Other activities for 2023 include the procurement of long lead material and the development of the AACE Class 2 construction estimate, which will provide a more detailed cost estimate for the project, UAMPS said.

Participants were provided an opportunity to withdraw from the project, or revise subscription levels, after costs increased above the target price due to high inflation and interest rate increases. Of the 27 participants in the project, 26 voted to continue, with one participant reducing its subscription level and one participant substantially increasing its subscription in the project. 

“Despite the project’s rising costs, felt worldwide by all large energy projects due to interest rates increases and rapidly escalating inflation in commodities such as fabricated plate and structural steel, copper wire and cable, not seen for over 40 years, participants felt overwhelmingly that the CFPP remains viable and is a key energy resource for the future,” said Mason Baker, UAMPS CEO and General Manager.

“The project will support our decarbonization efforts, complement and enable more renewable energy, and keep the grid stable. It will produce steady, carbon-free energy for 40 years or longer,” he said.

CFPP Partners include NuScale Power (developer of the nuclear power modules), Fluor Corporation (construction and licensing contractor), and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The CFPP is planned to be constructed at the Idaho National Laboratory outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and power will be distributed among UAMPS’ members that are participating in the project.

The first module is scheduled to be operational in 2029 to meet UAMPS’ timeline for replacing aging assets.

Additional details about the CFPP are available here.