A Japanese energy project engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor is the latest industry firm making a major investment in a nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) firm.
Majority investor Fluor Corp. announced Monday that JGC Holdings Corp. invested $40 million in NuScale Power LLC. NuScale is a SMR developer which already is reachintg U.S. federal regulatory approval to move forward on project deployment.
Portland, Oregon-based NuScale will advance its global development with investments and EPC partnerhips with companies like JGC and Fluor.
“This new ownership stake and partnership with JGC is aligned with Fluor’s long-term strategy to bring aboard new strategic investors to NuScale as the U.S. and international demand for new carbon-free base-load energy grows,” said Alan Boeckmann, executive chairman, Fluor Corporation. “Fluor has been collaboratively executing projects with JGC for more than 10 years and we believe JGC is an ideal partner for effectively bringing this innovative carbon-free energy transition solution to realization.”
Fluor and NuScale joined together on future deployment of SMR technology several years ago. Small modular reactor power plants hold the promise of less expensive construction, smaller project footprints and reduced safety concerns.
Both companies are current working together to bring a project for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to commercialization in the near future. NuScale also has announced partnerships to develop SMR projects in the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Jordan, U.S. and Ontario, Canada.
JGC Corporation is an overseas EPC contractor which, since its founding in 1928, has executed some 20,000 projects of all sizes across the globe for the oil refining, LNG, petrochemical, power, nuclear, pharmaceutical, and mining industries.
Each NuScale SMR takes up about a fraction of the space of a conventional plant reactor and generates to 60 MW in power, according to design plan. The modules would be pre-fabricated and transported to the plant site and be situated in below-ground pool, to lessen earthquake dangers.
Nuclear power is a carbon-free generation resource with a high capacity factor. Conventional nuclear currently accounts for about 20 percent of the U.S. electricity mix and 10 percent worldwide.
Aside from safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown, conventional nuclear projects have been few and far in-between due to the hefty $25 billion price tags for projects such as Georgia Power’s Vogtle expansion and the Hinkley Point C project in the United Kingdom.