Nebraska Public Energy District is finding out doable websites for small modular reactors, utilizing $1 million in federal pandemic help for low-income communities affected by climate threats to grid resilience.
As an proprietor of Cooper Nuclear Station, NPPD certified to use for the American Rescue Plan Act funding. Its proposal was accepted Jan. 6 by the Nebraska Division of Financial Improvement.
“We’re all the time new applied sciences and what improvements are being made within the area of power technology,” mentioned Roman Estrada, technology analysis senior program supervisor at NPPD.
The examine is not going to consequence within the fast building of a complicated small modular reactor, however “will give us a fantastic take a look at potential areas within the state the place this expertise could possibly be sited,” he mentioned.
Funding was licensed in state laws. State Sen. Bruce Bostelman, R, the invoice’s sponsor, mentioned ARPA can be utilized to cut back COVID-19’s financial impacts on low-income communities. He cited issues with Nebraska’s grid resilience in February 2021 that led to rolling energy outages and interrupted well being care provision, ingesting water purification and employment.
“These communities had been already coping with COVID-19 results,” Bostelman mentioned, “after which on prime of [that], their employers had been shut down on account of electrical energy outages all through the state.”
As well as, the cruel climate resulted in a lack of cattle and the non permanent shutdown of processing amenities, he mentioned.
“All of which factors to a necessity for a weather-resilient, inexperienced supply of energy for companies, houses and the medical business, Bostelman mentioned.
Daniel Buman, director of nuclear oversight and strategic asset administration at NPPD, testified earlier than lawmakers in assist of the proposal on behalf of NPPD and the Nebraska Energy Affiliation, which represents the state’s public energy utilities.
The primary section of the examine entails a Nebraska-wide evaluation to find out the very best websites primarily based on geographic information and preliminary licensing standards. Key issues embody entry to water and transmission traces. This section is estimated to be accomplished this spring.
The second stage requires an “in-depth analysis” and can deal with lowering the variety of websites to 4. It can embody detailed area environmental and building evaluations primarily based on standards utilized by the Nuclear Regulatory Fee when licensing nuclear crops. It’s anticipated to take a few yr to finish.
Greater than 62% of power technology by NPPD on common in 2020-2021 was carbon free, with nuclear energy accounting for 47%. Hydro and wind made up the rest. Coal accounted for greater than 22% of power technology and fuel and oil comprised 4.5%.