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Nuclear suppliers quote $1 billion for 160-MW small modular reactor

NUCLEAR reactor suppliers Holtec International and partner Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (Hyundai E&C), said they expect small modular reactors of up to 160 megawatts to cost $1 billion each.

Speaking before the House committee on nuclear energy, Jinwoo Choi, a business manager with Hyundai E&C, said: “We are well aware of the need of the stable supply of electricity in the Philippines… Hyundai and Holtec intend to contribute to the promotion of the nuclear power business in the Philippines.”

Haizhen Pan, a senior program manager for Holtec International and executive director of Holtec Japan, told the legislators, “When you start and don’t have money to build a 1-gigawatt plant, then we can just build one SMR-160, and then, with one unit under operation, we can collect the income and then use that money to build a second.”

“The cost of one unit… depends on the country we go to… but roughly… for one unit of SMR, it’s about a billion dollars,” Ms. Pan said. The suppliers said SMR construction in the Philippines needs to start by the end of 2024 to be fully operational by 2030.

Ms. Pan called SMRs “a fraction of the size of conventional nuclear power reactors.”

“Safety is a key feature of the design. It’s easier for public acceptance, (and) we simplify the systems (thereby reducing) cost,” Ms. Pan added.

Holtec International is a US company that designs and manufactures SMRs. Hyundai E&C serves as Holtec’s contractor with 17 nuclear plants currently operating.

Hyundai E&C claims an accident-free record over 50 years of plant operation.

Holtec and Hyundai E&C’s estimate is subject to an in-depth feasibility study and the final price could vary, Committee Chairman and Pangasinan Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco told reporters after the hearing. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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