Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) - Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR)
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CFPP Reports and Planning Documents Library

Please visit our Reports and Documents Library to view all CFPP related documents such as presentations from UAMPS, and technical information from NuScale.


As of 6/25/2021: The Carbon Free Power Project or CFPP was scaled down to a proposed 462 megawatt nuclear electric generation facility to be constructed at Idaho National Laboratory and utilize small modular reactor (SMR) technology developed by NuScale Power.  Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is subscribed for 1.8 megawatts.  Read the CFPP Fact Sheet (revised July 2021) or watch the CFPP project video.  

BPU and Council to Consider Continued Participation in the CFPP

(Read press release for the upcoming meetings):

2021, July 21 @ 5:30 PM
Board of Public Utilities Meeting, Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave

2021 July 27 @ 6 PM
County Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave


Both are hybrid meetings (virtual and in person).  Public may provide public comment in person in Council Chambers or via Zoom.

Emails are also welcome.  Send emails to members of the BPU at bpu@lacnm.us and to councilors at countycouncil@lacnm.us  


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (CFPP)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (updated July 9, 2021)

Q. What is the Carbon Free Power Project?
A. The Carbon Free Power Project or CFPP is a proposed nuclear electric generation facility to be constructed at Idaho National Laboratory and will utilize small modular reactor (SMR) technology developed by NuScale Power.

Q. What is the proposed size and output of the CFPP?
A. Recently, Nuscale uprated the electrical power output rating for each small modular reactor (SMR) from 60 MW to 77 MW.  Therefore, UAMPs voted on June 25, 2021, to scale down the CFPP plant from its proposed original 12 modules to six modules. This changes the output from 924 MW to 462 MW.  The lower overall output level will make subscription easier to achieve.   

Q. When is the plant expected to come online? 
A. The facility is expected to be operational by 2030. 

Q. What is the expected life of the plant? 
A. The expected life of the plant is 60 to 80 years. The agreement with DOE is 99 years, which would allow for two twenty year extensions beyond the original 40 year license and decommissioning. 

Q. Who are the project owners? 
A. Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), and NuScale Power entered into a teaming agreement to investigate the viability of developing the Carbon Free Power Project. UAMPS' participating partners are the project owners. Nuscale is the developer of the small modular reactor technology. UAMPS' participating partners expect to allow other entities to subscribe power through Power Purchase Agreements. 

Of the 46 municipal and cooperative utilities that comprise UAMPS, 28 members have subscribed power from the CFPP and make the decisions regarding UAMPS’ involvement. Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is one of these members.

Q. How many megawatts from the CFPP has Los Alamos subscribed?
A. As of June 25, 2021, Los Alamos is subscribed for 1.8 megawatts to stay within the County's budget of $1,260,000, approved by the Council on August 25, 2020.  By reducing the size of the facility to six modules and an output of 462 MW, reaching full subscription levels for the nuclear plant are likely to be achieved.  As subscription is confirmed and expands, Los Alamos will be able to increase its subscription back to 8.6 megawatts without increasing its costs.     


Q. What is the cost of the project? 
A.With the most recent revised cost estimate less the cost sharing from the Department of Energy and Nuscale, the total project cost to the project owners is estimated at $4.8 billion. Los Alamos currently has 1.8 MW capacity interest out of the total plant capacity of 462 MW. The cost to Los Alamos, should the project be realized, would be paid through the targeted cost of power at approximately $58/megawatt hour with a 40 year commitment.  

Q. What if the target price of $58/megawatt hour can't be met? 
A. UAMPS and NuScale signed a Development Cost Reimbursement Agreement (DCRA) that provides for 100% reimbursement to the project participants if there is a failure of the Economic Competitive Test (ECT) of $58/MWh through the COLA development phase of the project.    

Q. What is the cost sharing from the Department of Energy?  
A. In October 2020, the Department of Energy approved a multi-year cost share award to provide $1.355 billion toward the CFPP project over a period of nine years.  A modification request has been submitted to the DOE to change the award from a 12-module facility to six while keeping the DOE monetary support the same.  If the request is not granted than the DCRA will provide protection to the project participants if the CFPP fails the ECT. 

UAMPS has structured the DOE cost share funds so that the higher DOE percentages will be used toward the earlier stages of the project where the risk is the highest. 


Q. Why is Los Alamos pursuing this project? 
A. As recommended by the Future Energy Resource Committee (a Los Alamos citizen ad hoc committee) and at the direction of the Board of Public Utilities, DPU is exploring whether to add the CFPP to the County's energy generation portfolio to meet a 2040 goal to be carbon neutral as well as to diversify and increase reliability of the County's resources.

Q. Where are we in July 2021? 
A. In June 2021, UAMPS project participants voted to scale down the size of the facility, going from 12 modules to six, decreasing the output to 462 MW. While a smaller nuclear plant improves the ability to realize full subscription, the target price will increase by $3, going from $55 to $58 per MWh.

Because of this change, a new off-ramp decision point was inserted by UAMPS and the project is returning to each governing body for the project participants. The Board of Public Utilities and the County Council will consider the project with the new parameters at the July 21, and July 27, 2021 meetings respectively.  If approved, the 
next off-ramp decision will occur in 2022.  

Q. What if Los Alamos County decides to unilaterally exit the CFPP at the July meetings?
A. If the Board of Public Utilities and County Council decide to exit the CFPP, the County would be on the hook to reimburse the project $286,699 within the year.    

Q. How do citizens provide feedback to the members of the Board of Public Utilities and County Councilors?
A. Public comment is always welcome during a Board of Public Utilities and/or County Council meeting. Currently BPU and Council meetings are being held in a hybrid mode (virtual and in person). Individuals may attend the meeting in person or participate via Zoom.

Emails are also welcome.  Individuals may send written comments to the board members at bpu@lacnm.us and to councilors at countycouncil@lacnm.us.    

Q. How can one review past meetings, presentations and videos (if applicable) on the CFPP project?
A. Open the "PAST MEETINGS, PRESENTATIONS AND DOCUMENTS" accordion below to see all the meetings that have been held on this project from 2016 to present. 

PAST MEETINGS, PRESENTATIONS AND DOCUMENTS

PAST MEETINGS, PRESENTATIONS AND DOCUMENTS (reverse chronological order)


2020, November 20:

UAMPS Participants in the CFPP voted on November 9, 2020 to advance to the next phase and approve the associated Budget and Plan of Finance. Integral to this phase will be the preparation of the Combined Operating and Construction License Application (COLA). Considering the number of participants in this phase went from 35 to 27, which includes a new member (Wells Rural Electric) and a total subscription level at 100 megawatts, Utilities Manager Shelton elected to reduce Los Alamos County’s subscription from 11.2 to 6.37 megawatts, maintaining the target price of $55 a megawatt hour on 2020 dollars. Prior to submitting the COLA in May 2023, and prior to starting construction in December 2025, the county will have the flexibility to adjust the subscription level or exit the project. Read the Press Release.

2020, October 16:

The U.S. Department of Energy has approved a multi-year cost-share award to a new special purpose entity named the Carbon Free Power Project, LLC (CFPP, LLC) (an entity wholly owned by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS)) for the development and construction of the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), a 720 MWe NuScale power plant to be located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory site. This award will serve as a funding vehicle to advance the CFPP as funds are appropriated by Congress. Read the DOE Press Release.

2020, August 26:

The Board of Public Utilities and the County Council voted on August 19 and 25 in favor of the County's continued participation in the development of the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP). The next off-ramp decision will be in 2023. (press release)

2020, August 25 @ 6PM
County Council Meeting, via Zoom (due to COVID)

Click here to view presentation materials to the Council and the video of the meeting. 

Councilors voted in favor, contingent on DOE Multi-Year funding, to increase the DPU authorized funding for Phase 1 of the Licensing Period of $1.26 million ($1.05 million plus a 20% contingency of $210,000 to cover potential increases in Development Cost Share in the CFPP); and to authorize the Utilities Manager to reduce LAC’s Entitlement Share in the CFPP as needed to keep LAC’s Development Cost Share in the CFPP at or below $1.26 million for completion of Phase 1 of the Licensing Period; and to authorize the Utilities Manager to, should the County’s remaining Phase 1 Development Cost Share exceed $1.26 million, submit a Notice of Withdrawal to the PMC pursuant to the Power Sales Contract notice requirements.

2020, August 19 @ 5:30PM
Board of Public Utilities Meeting, via Zoom (due to COVID)

Click here to view presentation material to the Board and the video of the meeting. 

The Board members voted in favor of requesting Council to authorize, contingent on DOE Multi-Year funding, an increase to the DPU authorized funding for Phase 1 of the Licensing Period of $1.26 million ($1.05 million plus a 20% contingency of $210,000 to cover potential increases in Development Cost Share in the CFPP); and that Council authorize the Utilities Manager to reduce LAC’s Entitlement Share in the CFPP as needed to keep LAC’s Development Cost Share in the CFPP at or below $1.26 million for completion of Phase 1 of the Licensing Period; and that Council authorize the Utilities Manager to, should the County’s remaining Phase 1 Development Cost Share exceed $1.26 million, submit a Notice of Withdrawal to the PMC pursuant to the Power Sales Contract notice requirements.

2020, August 3: Virtual Los Alamos Town Hall

Click here for presentation material and video of the meeting

2020, July 28: Virtual Joint BPU and Council Meeting

Click here for presentation materials and video of the meeting

2020, July 21: CFPP Virtual Meeting hoted by UAMPS, US DOE, NuScale and Fluor

Click here for presentation materials and video of the meeting

2019, December 17 @ 6PM
County Council Meeting, 1000 Central Ave.

Click here to view the video of the December 17th meeting.

The County Council approved the budget amendment of $52,500 with a 20% contingency of $10,500 for the continued participation in the Carbon Free Power Project.  

2019, December 6 @ 11:30 a.m.
Board of Public Utilities Meeting, 1000 Central Ave.

Click here to view the video of the December 6th meeting.

The Board of Public Utilities approved a budget amendment of $52,500 with a 20% contingency of $10,500 for the continued participation in the Carbon Free Power Project and forwarded the matter to the Council for their consideration. 

2019, March 19 @ 6PM
Joint Board of Public Utilities & County Council Meeting, 1000 Central Ave.

Click here to view the video of the March 19th meeting.

Update to the Board of Public Utilities and County Council on the CFPP. Last year it was estimated that funding for this phase of the project would be spent and the BPU and Council would need to make a decision as to whether or not they would like to take an off-ramp or continue with the project.  Funding has not been completely spent yet.  The off-ramp decision will occur at a future date.  CFPP Presentation Overview and Update 2019-03-19.pdf

2018, December

DOE Press Release dated Dec. 21, 2018 - DOE Office of Nuclear energy Announces Agreement Supporting Power Generated from Small Modular Reactors


2018, April 10 @ 6PM
Joint Board of Public Utilities & County Council Meeting, 1000 Central Ave.

Click here to view the video of the April 10th meeting.

The Board of Public Utilities and Los Alamos County Council voted on April 10, 2018 to sign the power sales contract to stay in the project.  The contract includes three off-ramps in which the county can exit the project.  The first off ramp is March 2019 with a maximum exposure of $80,000.  UAMPS will solicit more subscribers and seek additional funding this coming year and return for another go-no-go vote before the BPU and Council.  

The final vote - 
Board of Public Utilities: 4 - 1 in favor
County Council: 4 - 3 in favor

April 1, 2018: Editorial by Utilities Manager Timothy A. Glasco   

2018, March 6 @ 6PM 
Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave.

Click here to view the video of the March 6th meeting

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) joined the Council at its March 6, 2018 Council meeting to discuss the project (no action was taken).  This meeting was planned ahead of a March 21, 2018 recommendation decision by the Board of Public Utilities, and an April 3, 2018 decision by the County Council as to whether the county continues its participation into the next phase of the CFPP.  Read the write up on Open Forum and provide your feedback (note that the feedback period closed on February 22, 2018)

2018, January 25 @ 6PM
Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave.

Click here to view the video of the meeting.

The Department of Public Utilities held a public meeting with the project managers from UAMPS to discuss project details.   This public meeting was planned ahead of a March/April 2018 decision to be made by the Board of Public Utilities and the County Council as to whether or not the County continues into the next phase of this project.  A joint Board of Public Utilities and County Council meeting followed the public meeting (for discussion only).  

2018, January 9

NuScale Power Press Release - U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approves Key Safety Aspect to NuScale Power's Advanced Reactor Design.   

2017, August 1

DPU hired a third-party independent contractor to conduct an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to compare and weigh all of the options to serve the County’s Electric Demand on a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) basis, while meeting our carbon neutral goal. Findings - Solar with storage was determined to have the lowest LCOE among the options considered.  The CFPP came in second at approximately 3.5% higher cost based on the $65/MWh cap the participants have determined to be the maximum they’re willing to pay. DPU is looking at a combination of these resources for a diverse portfolio).

2017, January

A second public meeting was held on January 12, 2017 at Fuller Lodge at 6 p.m. to discuss the details of the Carbon Free Power Project. Presentations included:

Read the January 4, 2017 press release

2016, December

A public meeting was held on December 1, 2016 at the new Golf Course Building, large meeting room at 6 p.m. to discuss small modular reactors.   Presentations included: