NuScale Power, Nucor to Explore SMR Nuclear Energy for Steel Operations

by | May 17, 2023

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Steel workers communicate in a factory.

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NuScale Power and Nucor have agreed to explore co-locating NuScale’s small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) power plants to provide clean, reliable baseload electricity to Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills. This partnership highlights the growing interest in SMRs among industrial leaders and the need for emissions reductions in the steel manufacturing industry.

NuScale’s VOYGR power plants can produce up to 924 megawatts of output and are suitable for industrial applications as a highly reliable source of carbon-free energy, the company said. The SMR design is also the only one to be approved and certified by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, according to the company. The SMR design includes fully passive safety features, which eliminate the need for an external grid connection to perform key safety functions and can achieve a site boundary emergency planning zone and improve plant siting flexibility for industrial users.

Clean Energy Steel Mills

As part of the agreement, the companies will evaluate site suitability, transmission interconnection capabilities, and capital costs for potential NuScale plants to be sited near and provide carbon-free electricity to Nucor EAF steel mills. In addition, NuScale will study the feasibility of siting a manufacturing facility for NuScale Power Modules near a Nucor facility.

Nucor, the largest steel producer and recycler of any type of material in North America, would also supply Econiq, its net-zero steel products, for NuScale projects. This expanded manufacturing partnership demonstrates Nucor’s commitment to supporting the development of transformative technologies that will deploy safe, reliable, affordable, continuous, base-load carbon-free power, like NuScale’s VOYGR SMR plants.

The U.S. Department of Energy has identified emissions reductions in the steel manufacturing industry as an important step to reach net zero by 2050. Nucor’s partnership with NuScale will help pave the way for a zero-carbon energy future for the nation, built with the cleanest steel products made anywhere in the world. NuScale said it is thrilled to take this step forward with Nucor, a company that shares its commitment to sustainability and understands the role of the technology in delivering clean, reliable baseload power to help support global energy transitions.

SMRs and nuclear energy are also becoming more of a focus in increasing clean energy in the U.S. The DOE recently approved more than $22 million in domestic nuclear projects, and Westinghouse Electric Company is working on its own SMR.

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