Oregon-based NuScale Power, one of the front-runners in SMR development, estimates it could build its first plant, with a dozen 50-megawatt reactors totaling a net 684 megawatts of electrical power, for $3 billion. That’s roughly 20 percent cheaper on an installed per-megawatt basis than the $14 billion quoted to the Georgia Public Service Commission in 2014 for the two 1.25-gigawatt units now under construction at the Vogtle plant located near Waynesboro in that state. (Vogtle’s costs have now ballooned to around $28 billion.) Alongside theoretically cheaper construction, the size of SMRs means they could potentially be deployed in many situations where it wouldn’t make sense to have a full-scale nuclear plant. They can also in theory be designed to incorporate the latest safety features, allowing them to be placed in brownfield sites or otherwise close to areas of human habitation. Advocates see them being used to power remote towns, desalination plants, mines and other similar sites.
GTM 9th Sept 2020 read more »