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

UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is a joint-action governmental agency providing energy services to its 46 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 12-module plant, capable of generating 924 MWe of clean electricity, within the INL’s 890-square mile site, in a relatively small footprint. 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 and increase air quality.

SMR-generated power is 100 percent carbon-free. The 12-module NuScale plant produces 924 MWe (gross) and can power over 700,000 homes in the U.S. with carbon-free electricity. This would reduce CO2 emissions by eight million tons per year as compared to coal, the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road per year.

In January 2019, the DOE reached an agreement to support power generated from a small modular nuclear reactor project by using power from one of the modules for research and power to supply a national laboratory. The DOE intends to draw from two modules of a 12-module SMR plant to be constructed at INL by NuScale under UAMPS' CFPP.

The DOE research portion of the agreement is designed to focus on integrated energy systems that support power production and non-electric energy products. The other module may be used in a power purchase agreement to supply power to INL.

The utility Idaho Power has an existing transmission line connection with the lab, and since it has the load-serving responsibility from a regulatory standpoint, the power needs to be sold through them. The DOE forecasts that the lab will need up to 70 MWe in the 2025-2030 timeframe. The DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy agreement will allow the DOE to meet its needs in the form of resilient power to a national security mission-based lab while drawing from the nation's newest class of advanced reactors.

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, a 720-megawatt plant in Idaho using 12 NuScale SMRs, which once completed, will provide reliable, cost competitive, base load, carbon-free electricity to UAMPS member participants.

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

Subsequently, UAMPS will seek a combined construction and operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with the submittal expected in 2021. That license could be granted in 2023, allowing the module to be used by DOE in the Joint Use Modular Plant (JUMP) Program. The JUMP program is an SMR research collaboration between UAMPS and INL. Through the program, the INL-DOE will lease one NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) to conduct research within an operating commercial reactor environment and the second NPM may be used in a power purchase agreement (PPA) to provide power to INL.

Through the JUMP program, NuScale will provide a cost-effective, one-of-a-kind opportunity for the national laboratory to conduct critical research, development and demonstration activities at the country's first commercial SMR facility.


UAMPS is currently active on the CFPP site performing site characterization activities. Pending finalization of those activities and the development of a schedule reflective of the recent decision by UAMPS to use “dry cooling,” UAMPS has requested that NuScale work to the schedule of the first module expected to be operational by mid-2029, with the remaining 11 modules to come online for full plant operation by 2030.