UAMPS subsidiary applies to NRC to begin CFPP construction activities

August 1, 2023, 9:37AMNuclear News
Concept art of the six-module Carbon Free Power Project, to be sited at INL. (Image: NuScale)

CFPP LLC, the limited liability company established by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) in 2020 to bring its Carbon Free Power Project to fruition, has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a limited work authorization (LWA) to permit certain early project construction activities prior to the issuance of a combined license (COL). In a July 31 news release, CFPP said that should its application be approved, early-scope construction on the small modular reactor project would likely begin in mid-2025.

The company also noted that it submitted the LWA application as the first part of the project’s combined license application (COLA). This is the first time under the current LWA regulations that a standalone LWA application has been submitted in advance of the remainder of the COLA, according to the release. The second part of the project’s COLA remains on schedule for a January 2024 submission, the release added.

The project: UAMPS launched the Carbon Free Power Project in 2015 to develop, own, and operate the United States’ first SMR plant, to be located at Idaho National Laboratory, with reactor technology supplied by Portland, Ore.–based NuScale Power. Currently, the project plan is to deploy by 2029 a NuScale VOYGR-6 plant—a facility housing six NuScale Power Modules, each capable of generating 77 MWe, for a total of 462 MWe of carbon-free electricity.

The LWA: According to 10 CFR 50.10, an LWA allows for “the driving of piles, subsurface preparation, placement of backfill, concrete, or permanent retaining walls within an excavation, installation of the foundation, including placement of concrete, any of which are for an SSC [safety-related structures, systems, or components] of the facility for which either a construction permit or combined license is otherwise required.”

The official words: “The submittal of the LWA application is an imperative step in maintaining the project’s schedule for an end-of-year 2029 commercial operation date,” stated Mason Baker, UAMPS chief executive officer and CFPP president. “Commencing with construction activities allows for progress to continue on the CFPP site prior to the full authorization granted in the COL. It also marks a significant milestone as a major CFPP submittal to the NRC, and more broadly, the first application to the NRC for construction of a full-scale commercial SMR.”

In case you missed it: In March of this year, NuScale announced that it had placed the first upper reactor pressure vessel long-lead material production order with South Korea’s Doosan Enerbility.

According to the announcement, the order was placed at the end of 2022 for “materials essential to commence manufacturing” NuScale Power Modules. The announcement added that the two companies were also “aligned to manufacture additional modules” for future VOYGR plant projects.

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