Great Article Angelica!

A few quick points:

1) At $1B/300MW the AP300 would end up at about $3333/kW vs Vogtle at $15,000/kW. Now I expect that additional AP1000 builds would be cheaper but probably in the range of $5000/kW - $6000/kW. Given that I would expect the AP300 to be about $6000/kW to $9000/kW

2) The BWRX-300 is far from being the closest thing to a sure bet in the world of SMRs. NuScale solidly holds that title as they are the only ones to have made it through the design certification process and most of the way through the licensing process for the first plant. They are also the only ones with reactor vessels actively being forged. Aside from NuScale, all of these systems are still, at best, at the pre-application stage for licensing in the US. The runners up are Natrium and the Xe-100, which should be posting licensing applications for their first plants sometime around the end of 2023 to early 2024.

NuScale is by far the most mature of the systems and has the most mature cost projections. Take cost projections from all others with a grain of salt.

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Oct 16, 2023Liked by Angelica Oung

Excellent head to head overview of SMRs. Much better to see them analyzed against one another versus standalone bragging and complaining.

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Oct 18, 2023·edited Oct 18, 2023

I think I heard a Decouple episode mention that the cost recovery for an SMR factory arrives at 10 GW. I will feel very lucky if someone approaches this without funding from a large state actor

Maybe if you get 1/3 of the way you have enough steam to make it - that would be about a dozen 300 MW units. Compared to the cost of the Energiewend pushing three or so designs up the hill to see if they roll seems justified

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I think an interesting comparison is Holtec vs NuScale. They have similar size shells, with similar power per shell. NuScale tries to cram everything into one shell per unit, Holtec uses two paired but different close coupled shells. (2 shells per unit and with 2x the power per unit).

NuScale fabrication looks way, way more challenging. That helical SG looks like a beast to fabricate!

Holtec has dome thermal expansion aspects to manage (straight fixed tubesheet SG, not a U-tube) but fabracability looks in line with traditional HEX fabrication methods.

It will be interesting to see how.much civil complexity there will be with 3 or 6 Holtec units vs a single 6 12 NuScale pack.

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This was a fun read!

Man that Nuward design looks like a jumbled mess. There is probably more space on a nuclear submarine...

Can they actually refuel while the 2nd unit is running? If so that is pretty cool. Although with SMRs you would probably always have multiple reactors on a site that could back each other up.

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Super review! Thank you!

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