NUCLEAR ENERGY – SMR TECHNOLOGY
Nuclear energy can deliver highly reliable, affordable, and very low emission energy to serve American electric consumers.
Advanced Power Alliance members are exploring the deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a type of nuclear reactor that is smaller in size and has a lower power output compared to traditional nuclear reactors. SMRs typically have an output of less than 300 megawatts (MW), which is significantly less than the output of traditional nuclear reactors that can range from 1,000 to 1,600 MW. SMRs are designed to be modular, meaning that they can be manufactured in a factory and then transported to the site where they will be used.
This approach can reduce the cost and time associated with constructing a new nuclear power plant. SMRs are also designed to be safer and more efficient than traditional nuclear reactors, with some designs featuring passive safety systems that do not rely on active cooling systems or external power sources to prevent accidents.
SMRs have the potential to provide reliable, low-carbon power that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet energy demand. SMRs can be used to replace retiring coal plants and complement renewable energy resources like wind and solar power. Some SMR designs have already been licensed by regulatory authorities in the United States and other countries, and there are a number of pilot projects and demonstration plants currently under construction.
In January 2023, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ceritified the first US-approved SMR, a design from Nuscale Power Corporation. Nuscale plans to construct its six-reactor, 462 MW Carbon Free Power Project at the Idaho National Laboratory and expects the plant to be operational by 2030. Advanced Power Alliance is working to ensure that advanced energy technologies like SMRs are nor unfairly disadvantaged or discriminated against as companies seek to deploy these advanced systems to meet our nation’s energy needs.