We hail the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes landmark provisions to support deployment of nuclear power and other clean energy technologies. This Act will turbocharge the rise of nuclear energy in the U.S., including Holtec’s SMR-160 small modular reactor power plants, which are engineered to provide clean, reliable 24/7 power from their unconditionally safe reactors. We envision the SMR-160 advanced reactor as the centerpiece of a distributed clean energy eco-system, coupled with our Clean Energy Storage and Generation (CESG) technology, meeting the diverse needs of local economies, providing dispatchable electricity to meet peaking demands, and processing steam for industrial use, such as production of hydrogen fuel. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax incentives, our inherently safe SMR-160 nuclear plants are poised to deliver reliable 24/7 clean electricity at market-competitive prices in both regulated and unregulated markets in the U.S., even considering the first-of-kind investment costs. The incentives will accelerate broad SMR deployment, driving down the SMR-160 costs with mass produced components at Holtec’s U.S. manufacturing facilities.
Encouraged by the U.S. Government’s supportive posture, Holtec has significantly boosted its clean energy research and development budget to bring the first SMR-160 online as early as 2029 – one year earlier than previously scheduled. As previously reported, Holtec has already submitted a $7.4 billion dollar application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office to increase the capacity for SMR production at our existing U.S. manufacturing facilities, to construct and commission four SMR-160 plants in the U.S., and to build a new Holtec Heavy Industries (HHI) complex for higher capacity manufacturing of SMR-160 components, modules and weldments. Holtec’s large federal loan request and erection of the largest nuclear manufacturing plant in the U.S. are of a piece with our belief that the Inflation Reduction Act will unleash a massive growth across the country of base load and dispatchable clean energy plants uniquely provided by nuclear power and pave the way to a large global export market for the supply of U.S. reactors. Holtec is still evaluating the location of HHI and will likely build the proposed mega-plant close to the site of our first SMR-160 project in the U.S.
There are numerous candidate sites where our first SMR-160 can debut. Among these are Holtec’s Oyster Creek, as well as several other nuclear decommissioning sites owned by Holtec, undergoing decommissioning by our subsidiary, Holtec Decommissioning International. There are also nuclear, coal and greenfield sites under specific consideration by several important nuclear operators in the U.S., such as Entergy.Site-specific plant layouts and environmental monitoring necessary to support the Construction Permit Application (CPA) are already underway for Oyster Creek. The support and enthusiasm of a state to host this new industry are likely to play a decisive role in siting the first SMR-160s and the new manufacturing plant.
We expect to pair the SMR-160 plant with a Clean Energy Storage and Generation (CESG) system, the Green Boiler. A Green Boiler facility can store surplus energy from an SMR-160 power plant, and generally from the grid in periods of excess generation, then deliver that stored energy in times of generation deficit. A variation of the CESG system called HI-HEAT has been engineered to provide district heating systems, to enable countries lacking fossil fuel heat in winter months to heat their urban centers. The schematic below explains the substitution of the coal-fired plant with the Green Boiler.
“Holtec’s decision to accelerate its clean energy programs exemplifies Department of Energy Secretary Granholm’s remarks after passage of the climate bill, which asserted, “the [Inflation Reduction Act] will unleash American ingenuity to deploy clean energy at a pace and scale that positions us to cut carbon pollution in half by 2030,” says Holtec Chief Nuclear Officer Pierre Oneid.