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Project aims to power Idaho Falls with nuclear energy by 2027, and you’re invited to learn more

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Rendering of NuScale’s proposed SMR | Idaho National Laboratory

The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS – The community is invited to join Idaho Falls Power’s General Manager Bear Prairie and NuScale’s Senior Reactor Operator Michael Downs for “Shedding a Light on Nuclear” – a presentation and conversation about the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Carbon Free Power Project and its impact on Idaho Falls and East Idaho.

The presentation will be held at the Idaho Falls Power Energy Center, 140 South Capital Avenue, on Thursday, Aug. 15th, starting at 6 p.m.

RELATED | On a cold winter day in 1951, a group of scientists met in a small nuclear reactor 50 miles west of Idaho Falls to conduct an experiment that would change the modern world forever

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) formally launched the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) in 2015 as part of its long-term strategy to reduce carbon emissions and replace aging coal-fired plants with non-fossil fuel, and medium-sized, flexible power generating sources.

Rendering of NuScale Power Plant | Courtesy photo

As part of the project, a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power plant will be constructed at the Idaho National Laboratory site. The proposed SMR plant would have 12, 60-megawatt modules that could generate 720 megawatts of clean electricity (if operating at 100 percent capacity). The plant is projected to be fully operational by 2027 and provide electricity to Idaho Falls’ other member cities of UAMPS.

RELATED | It was the first nuclear reactor to produce electricity using atomic power, and you’re invited to take a tour

Prairie, with 20 years of energy industry experience, assumed the role of General Manager of Idaho Falls Power and Idaho Falls Fiber in 2018. He was promoted from Assistant General Manager, a position he held for eight years. He is highly experienced in utility executive management, commodity trading and asset development.

Downs has his Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Technology and 40-plus years of experience in the nuclear power industry working in a variety of positions. He previously worked for General Electric-Hitachi (ESBWR), Westinghouse (ABWR) and Babcock & Wilcox (mpower SMR). For the past three years, he’s been with NuScale Power serving in their operations department.

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