Client
Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS)
Location
Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.

UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP)

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is a joint-action governmental agency providing energy services to its 50 community-owned power system members located throughout the intermountain western states. UAMPS is working to provide the next generation of nuclear reactors at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in eastern Idaho.

NuScale Power is a company developing small modular reactor (SMR) technology. Fluor is the majority shareholder. NuScale's new modular light water nuclear reactor design is capable of generating 77 MWe using a safer, smaller, scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology.

The NuScale Power SMR technology is a long-term strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through a non-fossil fuel, medium-sized flexible power generating source.


Client's Challenge

UAMPS will be siting a NuScale six-module plant, capable of generating 462 MWe of clean electricity, on approximately a 60-acre footprint within the large INL site. This effort is part of the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), which was launched in 2014 to advance state and national efforts to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and stem climate change.

SMR-generated power is 100 percent carbon-free. The six-module NuScale plant produces 462 MWe (gross) and can power over 350,000 homes in the U.S. with carbon-free electricity. This would reduce CO2 emissions by four million tons per year as compared to coal, the equivalent of taking 850,000 cars off the road per year.

Based on cultural and economic concerns surrounding water rights, UAMPS asked NuScale and Fluor to consider an air-cooled option for the CFPP. This would help avoid the price uncertainty associated with cooling water supply.


Fluor's Solution

In October 2020, Fluor announced that UAMPS was awarded a funding vehicle that could provide up to $1.355 billion by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for NuScale Power's first prospective small modular nuclear reactor project. Fluor is poised to assist UAMPS and NuScale in bringing the world's first clean energy, carbon-free SMR project to commercialization. Fluor and NuScale are working with UAMPS in the development of the CFPP, which once completed, will provide reliable, cost competitive, base load, carbon-free electricity to 27 out of 50 UAMPS’ members participating in this project.

In August 2020, Fluor announced that NuScale received final design approval by the NRC, which is expected to advance the commercialization of NuScale's SMR technology.

UAMPS is now seeking a combined construction and operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with the submittal expected in early 2024. That license could be granted in 2026 if UAMPS, Fluor and NuScale are successful in achieving the record-breaking approval schedule from the U.S. NRC.

Fluor is leading the design of the air-cooled condensers for the CFPP that will allow the plant to operate in the Idaho desert using 95% less water than the water-cooled version. This has a significant positive impact on the environment around the plant while lowering cost uncertainty and lowering the life-cycle cost of electricity generated.



Conclusion

In August 2021, Fluor mobilized to the CFPP to lead site characterization activities for the UAMPS client. Site characterization includes the drilling of more than 50 exploratory bore holes, 10 groundwater monitoring and test wells as well as numerous surface and subsurface investigations to predict the seismic and volcanic hazards to include in the site safety analysis. Pending finalization of those activities and the schedule reflective of the decision by UAMPS to use "dry cooling," UAMPS has requested that Fluor and NuScale work to deliver the first module operational by the end of 2029, with the remaining five modules to come online for full plant operation by 2030.