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America’s first mini nuclear power plant is abandoned

America’s first mini nuclear power plant is abandoned

Small modular reactors, viz Small modular reactors, to produce really cheap nuclear power. Unlike large nuclear power plants, they must be manufactured centrally in a factory and then transported to their destination. By this kind Great production The cost of construction should be greatly reduced. But it’s not so simple, a case from America shows.

The SMR project stalled again

To date, only one Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design has been approved in the United States, and that is NuScale Power. Its 50 MW reactor was commissioned in January 2023 Certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and must be 2029 To be built in the state of Idaho, USA. The plan called for some of the first reactors on the Idaho National Lab research facility site, while other reactors would provide electricity to area businesses.

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First Costs of producing green electricity However, if prices fall rapidly, even SMRs may no longer seem economical. Generating electricity from the sun, water and wind is much cheaper than investing in relatively expensive nuclear power. As a result, many supporters have withdrawn from the project.

The final blow came on Wednesday from the energy company, a major shareholder of NuScale Energy Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems withdrew from the program. According to the electricity wholesaler, “the project appears unlikely to find enough takers to continue output.”

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NuScale CEO John Hopkins said in a statement broadcasting said: “Our work over the past 10 years has advanced NuScale technology to the point of commercial use; reaching this milestone is a huge achievement and one we will continue to build on with future customers.” Whether NuScale can still attract customers is questionable. Construction of an SMR is unlikely before the end of the decade.

In Europe they continue to rely on SMRs

Although plans for mini nuclear power plants failed in the US, SMRs continue to be used in Europe. Last year, the Czech Republic declared… Demil Nuclear Park First SMR to be built in Europe The technology needed to do it American company GE Hitachi Nuclear Power distribution.

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According to the studySafety analysis and risk assessment of application of SMR concepts“However, as of 2021, the storage potential of compact reactors is limited. Depending on their size, you would need between 3 and 1,000 reactors to produce the same amount of energy as a large nuclear power plant. The cost savings would only come if Several thousand SMRs can produce.