IEEFA examines the economics of UAMPS’ SMR project
News Event: Thursday, February 17 @ noon EST
“Too late, too expensive and too uncertain.” That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) about the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) plans to build a nuclear power plant using NuScale’s as-yet-untested small modular nuclear reactor. They base their findings on an extensive analysis of the risk of cost overruns and construction delays. These are compared to other options for generating power that use proven technology, are immediately deployable, and much less expensive.
A streaming version of the briefing will be available later the same day at ieefa.org/SMR.
Utah cities that are still major subscribers to the UAMPS’ project include Hyrum, Brigham City, Payson, Hurricane, and Washington City. Eighteen Utah towns and three service districts are participating as smaller subscribers but are still assuming a portion of the financial risks.
The Utah Taxpayers Association has been urging Utah cities to withdraw from the project and not put their ratepayers and taxpayers at risk. As the report states:
“As currently structured, those project risks will be borne by the buying entities (participants), not NuScale or Fluor, its lead investor. In other words, potential participants need to understand that they would be responsible for footing the bill for construction delays and cost overruns, as well as being bound by the terms of an expensive, decades-long power purchase contract.”
Six Utah cities previously had major subscriptions but voted to withdraw from the project in fall 2020 based on their concerns about the financial risks. These include Logan, Kaysville, Bountiful, Murray, Heber, and Lehi.