This breakthrough in economic value means that Nuscale modules will be clearly superior to all of the conventional large nuclear reactors and competitive against many natural gas and clean coal alternatives.
The overnight kilowatt cost for Nuscale is expected to drop from $3,600 to approximately $2,850.
For power generation capacity capital costs are often expressed as overnight cost per watt. Estimated costs are:
gas/oil combined cycle power plant – $1000/kW (2019)
onshore wind – $1600/kW (2019)
offshore wind – $6500/kW (2019)
solar PV (fixed) – $1060/kW (utility), $1800/kW (2019)
solar PV (tracking)- $1130/kW (utility) $2000/kW (2019)
battery storage power – $2000/kW (2019)
conventional hydropower – $2680/kW (2019)
geothermal – $2800/kW (2019)
coal (with SO2 and NOx controls)- $3500–3800/kW
advanced nuclear – $6000/kW (2019)
fuel cells – $7200/kW
Clean coal has higher operating costs and higher capital costs. Natural gas has high operating costs. The cost is mainly the constant usage of gas.
Nuscale will have very low nuclear-operating costs and baseload power reliability and the 60-year lifespan of nuclear reactors vs 15-25 years for solar and wind.
Hydropower requires flooding a large area of land and usually requires a river with the right characteristics.