This sound is generated automatically. Please let us know if you have feedback.
The collapse of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 put the nail in the coffin for the construction of large nuclear power plants with similar technologies in the United States, according to nuclear power proponents and regulators. That disaster, along with previous accidents and persistent delays and cost overruns at the Vogtel nuclear plant in Georgia, have added the tailwind to moving nuclear technology known as Modular Small Reactors to market. The drive for decarbonization, combined with the war in Ukraine and Europe’s loss of Russian natural gas supplies, has fueled interest in the base loading capacity that can come from SMRs.
The leading US SMR technology developer went public last month, and is the first such company to do so. The revamped NuScale Power entered the stock market May 3 after merging with special-purpose acquisition firm Spring Valley Acquisition. NuScale is farther in the Nuclear Regulatory Authority approval process for any company developing SMR technology.
Being the first publicly traded company to design and deploy SMR technology was a “historic moment” for the company, enabling it to accelerate its “efforts to help meet the world’s urgent clean energy needs,” John Hopkins, NuScale President and CEO, said during announcing its IPO. . Fluor Corporation is the largest investor in the company.
But reactions to NuScale’s trading on the New York Stock Exchange have been mixed. Some analysts have heralded the prospects for the company’s small reactors to help achieve clean energy goals with zero-carbon nuclear power in the United States and abroad. Others insist that NuScale reactors are just a smaller version of today’s dangerous and expensive nuclear power plants, which generate long-lived radioactive waste.
ahead of competitors
Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear energy safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the company is outperforming its SMR competitors because it uses existing light water reactor technology but is also “fighting economies of scale.” While this type of SMR at 77 megawatts is less expensive than a large light water reactor, electricity from SMR is more expensive because its expected costs are prohibitive and much less energy will be sold, he added. This causes NuScale to seek “lower costs to the bone,” which puts safety at risk, he said.
“There is an astonishing division among people on every side of the issue” over whether going public with NuScale is an important step toward commercializing its technology, said Richard Rees, senior advisor at technology consultancy ARC Advisory Group.
SMR from NuScale and those being developed by other companies entail technology that allows for modular construction, with small reactor units installed side by side. This is expected to allow for faster and less costly construction, according to the Department of Energy. Small and medium-sized reactors are small reactors with a capacity of up to 300 megawatts, according to the World Nuclear Association.
“Envisioned economies of scale due to numbers produced,” and World Nuclear Association He said about SMR technologies last month. The Department of Energy said in late 2018 that it would support the NuScale project over several years with 1.4 billion dollars. But the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 would save NuScale just $40 million, according to the agency.
Supporters and critics say the company’s first SMR isn’t expected to come online before 2029, and requires significant funding to stay afloat until then.
“They need a lot of funding because their first reactor won’t start operating until 2029,” said Reese, a nuclear engineer who has worked on several large projects. The public offering, he added, is “a measure of confidence in the company, which is essential to their future.”
NuScale’s share price has fluctuated between $8.56 and $11.23 since it went public. Right before its public launch, NuScale was being held in high esteem 2 billion dollars. Its market value at the end of May was $2.16 billion.
‘As a result of business combination [with Spring Valley]Diane Hughes, the company’s vice president of communications, said NuScale received total revenue of approximately $380 million.
To be a viable company that sells expensive products, it is necessary to have a strong balance sheet, Debra Vikas Managing Director of Crystal Stock Research, which analyzes small-cap companies, said about companies that go public. She added that raising capital via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, was one way to fund the company.
But entering the market as a SPAC using what is essentially a shell company comes with more risks than using an existing company to launch a traditional IPO. Analyst Joshua Inomoto wrote in NuScale’s May 2 assessment of financial media Benzinga that business groups to allow market entry as a SPAC “incurred sharper losses than the benchmark stock index.”
based in Portland No Skill It says it will create “a smarter, cleaner, safer and more cost-competitive source of energy.”
These “promises have been made and broken repeatedly throughout the history of the nuclear power industry,” a report in February by Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
But IEEFA director of resource planning analysis and co-author of the report David Schlissel welcomed the company’s entry into the public market. “I think it’s a good move because now they’re going to be subject to much stricter standards in what they claim,” he said, including the company’s expected $58/MWh price for its flagship project with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, or UAMPS. .
NuScale reached a general agreement in 2017 with 33 of 50 UAMPS members to provide dozens of 50-megawatt modules at the Idaho National Laboratory and bring them online in 2024, according to the Department of Energy. The initial 600 MW project was later revised to six larger units with a capacity of 77 MW each scheduled to become operational in 2029. UAMPS spokesperson Lavar Webb said the current number of participants is 27. Several members drop out in the year 2020.
But changes to the project, according to Webb, were made early, and 27 participating members are on the upside for members who choose to sign into the UAMPS power project, he said, adding that UAMPS was happy to see NuScale public.
Webb said the estimated cost of the 462-megawatt NuScale project is $5.3 billion. He pointed out that “this includes financing over 40 years and takes into account inflation and rising wage rates” and other variables.
IEEFA’s Schlissel is dealing with what he calls NuScale’s low-ball estimate of $58/MWh, but said that even if it’s a real figure, it’s well above the cost of renewable projects. Solar costs plus utility-scale storage are around $45/MWh and are declining; He noted that wind energy costs are $30/MWh and are going down, and utility-scale solar costs alone are $32/MWh and are going down.
“SMR will cost at least $35 million more annually than the alternative” Zero-emissions conservatives, a 2019 تقرير Report The company was concluded for “Utah Healthy Environment Alliance” by Consultant Energy Strategies. Energy Strategies concluded, “On a present value basis, the alternative portfolios provide between $298 and $355 million in savings compared to the SMR Base Case portfolio.” A critical issue with successful commercialization is that the NuScale UAMPS project design has not been fully approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
In August 2020, NuScale was the first developer of a small modular reactor to pass the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety assessment At the time, the license was expected to be completed by August 2021.
But the UAMPS reactor design has been expanded from 50 MW to 77 MW and NRC employees have raised concerns about the company’s seismic analysis. In addition, unresolved safety issues may increase costs during the operating license phase, warned Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Rice agreed, saying, “The biggest problem is the cost and the second one is the risk.”
Hughes said NuScale plans to submit its standard design approval to the NRC this year and hopes to have it approved in 2025.
While NuScale is preparing its introduction, it will take about a year after the initial public offering to know if NuScale is financially strong, according to Rys.
But the company could have a first mover advantage.
Rys predicted that the first SMR developer “to go out there is going to dominate the business and put others out of the business.”
#NuScale #debuts #requires #lot #funding #launch #small #nuclear #reactor #Utility #Dive