Maryland Energy Administration Funds Small Modular Reactor Feasibility Study

Source: NASEO

On January 9, 2023, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced the release of X-Energy’s Feasibility Assessment and Economic Evaluation: Repurposing a Coal Power Plant Site to Deploy an Advanced Small Modular Reactor Power Plant. The study was performed by X-Energy, MPR Associates, and Frostburg State University (FSU) with a grant from MEA. The goal of the study was to determine the feasibility and economic impact of siting a four-unit Xe-100 small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) at an existing coal generation facility. The study determined a conversion would be feasible at the site studied and that there is a viable business case for repurposing a coal generation facility as an SMR electric generation facility. The site is not at high risk from natural hazards, the environmental permitting process is considered achievable due to existing power plant permits in place, and the engineering and cost considerations are feasible. FSU also developed a Strategic Communication Plan to ensure a smooth stakeholder and community engagement process in local communities near the plant. Some of the challenges outlined in the study include upgrading transmission facilities, interconnection cost uncertainty, and the need for reconstruction of the area to support the SMR. Additional opportunities to be considered include potential hydrogen production or use of steam production to support adjacent industrial activity. The full, public study can be accessed here.