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Less expensive, flexible nuclear power one option for backing up renewables: expert

April 6,2023

By Mark Watson

Advanced nuclear generation costing less than a third of large projects per kilowatt of capacity can be part of the solution for heavily fossil-fuel dependent communities to provide clean, flexible power to back up renewables, an Idaho National Laboratory official said April 6 at a conference in Austin, Texas.

“The Inflation Reduction Act put out a production tax credit for clean energy,” said Christine King, director of INL’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear program, during a “fireside chat” titled, “Where Nuclear Stands in an Evolving Grid,” during Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit.

“If you’re building new, clean energy, there’s a 10% production tax credit you can get at the end of your project,” King said. “What was announced earlier this week from the White House is if you are building that clean energy in a coal community, you can have another 10% production tax credit. That is the closest I have seen for clean energy being on sale.”

All-in target costs for an advanced nuclear reactor site are estimated at $3,600/kW, King said.

“That’s the manufacturer delivered price,” King said.

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