Energy Northwest joins NuScale SMR nuclear initiative

Energy Northwest NuScale small modular reactor SMR nuclear Idaho

Energy Northwest is teaming up with NuScale to study the demonstration of a commercial, small modular reactor, potentially in southeastern Idaho, by 2024. If NuScale receives federal development funding, Energy Northwest will have first right of offer to operate such a project and by doing so, become an industry leader in small modular reactor operation.

NuScale’s recent funding application to the Energy Department responds to a federal initiative designed to speed the nation’s transition to sustainable, clean sources of energy by bringing small modular reactors to market in the United States.

NuScale and partners are exploring a six- to 12-module facility to be located at a site like the Idaho National Laboratory. Designed to generate between 270 and 540 MW of electricity, the project would also serve to prove the feasibility of future SMR development.

Energy Northwest CEO Mark Reddemann recently asked DOE to strongly consider NuScale’s application for matching development funds under the federal Funding Opportunity Announcement program. He also affirmed Energy Northwest’s support for bringing SMR technology to the Northwest.

“In an era in the Northwest of slow growing electricity demand, small modular reactor technology offers utilities and consumers the opportunity to invest incrementally, on an as-needed basis, in clean, cost-effective power,” Reddemann wrote in a letter to Dr. Peter Lyons, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy.

Energy Northwest first endorsed the NuScale SMR design in 2011 after two years of rigorous study of various SMR technologies by the Energy Northwest SMR Working Group. The group was formed by Energy Northwest in 2009 and is comprised of 10 public and investor-owned Northwest utilities.

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