The future of the nuclear energy in the United States may well run through rural Idaho, where the federal Energy Department, NuScale and the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), are collaborating on a power plant that nuclear advocates hope will boost the industry’s flagging fortunes.
Under President Trump’s budget it would not renew the expiring grant that the Energy Department is using to help fund the project as it goes through a lengthy and expensive development phase. So far NuScale, has spent more than $400 million designing its reactor and still has about $600 million more spend through the final push.
The Energy Department funding, aimed at helping the NuScale project move through the regulatory phase, is what nuclear advocates are hoping will give UAMPS the confidence to proceed with the new technology, and so they’re counting on Congress to renew the nuclear grant.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry will be tasked with defending the budget at a House hearing, and the cuts he’ll be proposing.