A commercial nuclear reactor plant is coming to Eastern Idaho. Utah Associated Muncipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and the U.S. Department of Energy have agreed the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will host the plant. Oregon based NuScale Power will be responsible for its construction. They will build modular reactors that can produce 50 megawatts each.
Oregon based NuScale Power and UAMPS have plans for a modular reactor building coming to INL. "You never wanna go and try and do something this difficult in a place where people don't want you to be and aren't willing to work with you as a part of your team,” Mike McGough, “So this is a very strong place to try and work on a project like this."
McGough is the Chief Commercial officer for NuScale. He says coal-fired power plants have been a staple of the electrical industry for the last 40 years, but that’s gradually phasing out. He says this new plant will use small amount of land, but generate large amounts of electricity. "As they look to the future and seeing the installation of the nuclear power plant as the correct solution to be able to replace the coal generation,” said McGough.
The plant will sit on 35 acres of land and have some equipment manufactured from Blackfoot. When built, it could be seen from the Big Lost River rest stop on Highway 26. While within view, it could shut down on its own, if there’s an emergency, "When the plant loses electricity it will shut itself down and self-cool forever, with no operator action in the control room.”
McGough says this project has taken more than four years to develop, but it’s worth the wait, "We can think of no better place to be home for the world's first operating nu scale power plant.” McGough says the project is expected to being eight years from now, in 2024.