SMR by UAMPS (Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems) and NuScale Power Corporation that shows that costs are going out of control, a persistent problem in the nuclear industry. The original target power price of $55/MWh has risen to $100 (with subsidies) and is likely to rise further by the time it’s switched on in 2030, says Schlissel. Construction costs and delays are the main causes (as usual). So concerned are potential customers that, since February 2022, only 101MW of the plant’s total 462MW have been subscribed to. It will be difficult to secure financing for the plant without a fully subscribed project. Meanwhile, IEEFA figures say renewable resources and battery storage will provide reliable electricity at lower cost than the UAMPS plant, even if the price for the power from the project is just $58 per MWh. And renewables and battery costs are still declining.
The estimated target price of the power from the CFPP has gone up because projected building costs have increased. According to minutes of the October 2022 meeting of the Idaho Falls Power Board, the increased costs in the new Class 3 cost estimate currently being finalised for the CFPP have been shocking, even to NuScale and Fluor, the company responsible for overall management of the project.
Even if the new target price is only in the range of $90 to $100 per MWh, there is no guarantee that this will be the actual price that communities will pay for the power from the CFPP. The power sales contract for the project binds communities to pay the actual costs and expenses of the project—no matter how muchSmall Modular Reactor cost overruns: the same old problems haunt new nuclear in Utah – Energy Post
Count on the energy costs to triple or even quadruple, as has been the pattern for nuclear plants in the past.