NuScale project seeks to WIN over the West
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said the project will help create and maintain 250 jobs in Portland and Corvallis.
Oregon and other Western states have agreed to work on a demonstration project aiming to study the “deployment of safe, affordable nuclear energy” from small modular reactors produced by a Corvallis company.
Oregon will work on the Western Initiative for Nuclear project with NuScale Power LLC. The project will study whether a multi-module NuScale small modular reactor could be built at a site like the Idaho National Laboratory and be operational by 2024.
The project could also lead to similar efforts in other Western states, according to a release.
WIN is viewed as the initial demonstration project for a potential series of projects that may be developed in other states by WIN, described as a consortium of the utilities Energy Northwest and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems.
“Energy Northwest carefully investigated options for small modular reactors to fill future energy needs, including helping to integrate renewable sources,” said Dale Atkinson, Energy Northwest’s vice president, in a release. “We selected NuScale as our technology of choice. The NuScale design offers clear benefits in safety, cost-effectiveness and ease of operation.”
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed off on the project.
“This carbon-free generation technology originated in the labs of Oregon State University and NuScale currently employs 250 people in Portland and Corvallis, showing how Oregon-based ingenuity is once again at the forefront of energy innovation,” Kitzhaber said in a release.
NuScale has tried to procure Energy Department grants to help get a federal design certification of its modular nuclear reactor. The company said in March it’s continuing its efforts to get the federal dollars after losing out on as much as $50 million in energy grants last year.
NuScale is the only U.S.-based company established solely for the commercialization of its small modular rector. It has crafted “unique and proprietary break-through technology for an innovative, simple, safe, economic and scalable” reactor. The facility would be cooled by light water reactor technology and be entirely self-contained. It would also be installed both underwater and underground, which company officials say would maximize its safety.
The company’s facilities would produce 45 megawatts per module. A NuScale power plant could include up to 12 power modules.
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