NuScale SMR project in Idaho cancelled. Not enough customers

It may be viable in a market with high demand and large buyers of power.

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It sounds like either they didn’t understand the need to have customers or they intentionally located it where it would fail.

Neither, IMO. More likely lack of a guaranted/set price up front. Remember Vogtle 3 and 4?

“NuScale said in January the target price for power from the plant is $89 per megawatt hour, up 53% from the previous estimate of $58 per MWh, a jump that raised concerns about whether customers would be willing to pay.”

Reminds me of offshore wind plantations.



The DOE has reportedly provided $232 million to the CFPP since October 2020. Notably, the funding was awarded through a “non-competitive funding vehicle,” which predated the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, both of which the DOE says are now driving “the competitive process for clean energy investments.” Baker, meanwhile, noted that UAMPS, NuScale, and the DOE are working closely on next steps to wind the project down.

I find it implausible they intentionally tried to fail.

The simplest explanation is best. According to the article, the costs have escalated to $89/Mwh. This is very expensive power no matter how you slice it. And there is no guarantee the costs won’t escalate further. All signs point to bail.


Wind farms generate lots of electricity for consumers. SMRs have not generated any electricity for consumers.

There is a politics across the aisle to create more manufacturing hubs. The factories need to sign on. The costs went up on this project.

Despite the setback from the cancellation of the Idaho project, NuScale is not immediately going out of business. A NuScale SMR control room simulator recently opened in South Korea, in cooperation with Seoul National University and other Korea-based industrial companies.

The E2 Centre offers users a hands-on opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated, real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios. The E2 Centre employs state-of-the-art computer modeling to simulate a NuScale VOYGR-12, 924 MWe, small modular reactor (SMR) plant powered by 12 NuScale Power Modules.

“As the first E2 Centre in Asia, the educational training hub serves as a workforce development tool for South Korea to develop the next generation of advanced nuclear experts, technologists, and operators, positioning the country to become a regional leader of SMR deployment in Asia,” NuScale said.

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A consortium of South Korean companies recently built four large nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. Three of those plants are operation, with the fourth in preliminary testing for start up.

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As a plant engineer, I spent many hours training in control room simulators over the years. Those simulators are exact copies of all of the controls and displays that exist in the real control room, except those controls and displays are hooked up to a computer instead of a real power plant. It provides an appreciation for how well trained the operators are, especially when the instructor throws in a sudden equipment failure that none of the students are expecting.

Having this control room simulator at Seoul National University will certainly help in educating future engineers and other nuclear plant professionals.

  • Pete