New nuclear projects remain a challenge for public power
- January 1, 2024: Vol. 17, Number 1

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New nuclear projects remain a challenge for public power

by Dennis Pidherny

Absent broader joint action, improved cost competitiveness and/or greater certainty of cost and delivery, most U.S. public power systems are unlikely to pursue new nuclear construction over the next few years, and those that do face the risk of weakened credit quality, Fitch Ratings says.

The recent announcement by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and NuScale Power to terminate their Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) illustrates the challenges facing public power systems as they consider new nuclear construction. The CFPP was created by UAMPS to develop the nation’s first-generation small modular reactor nuclear plant, to be located at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The project planned to deploy six 77-megawatt nuclear power modules provided by NuScale Power. Energy from the project was slated to replace generation from coal plants to assist members in decarbonizing their energy portfolios.

The project was unable to attract i

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