Will the reactor(s) affect the stability of the electric grid?
NuScale is confident that SMRs can be integrated with renewable energy from wind and solar, providing stability and constancy to the electrical grid even as wind and solar fluctuate depending on weather and time of day. In a scientific paper titled "Can Nuclear Power and Renewables be Friends?" UAMPS and its partners concluded:
"The increasing penetration of renewables, especially wind generation have dramatically changed the economics and realities of grid management in ways that now encourage some level of load-following capabilities for historically baseload plants, including nuclear. The NuScale small modular reactor design currently under development in the United States is well suited for integration with renewables because of several design features related to the nuclear steam supply system, the power conversion system, and the overall plant architecture. The multi-module nature of a NuScale plant allows the plant output to be varied in three ways spanning a wide range of different time frames: (1) taking one or more modules offline for extended periods of sustained wind output, (2) adjusting reactor power for one or more modules for intermediate periods to compensate for hourly changes in wind generation, or (3) bypassing the system turbine for rapid responses to wind generation variations. Results are present from a recent analysis of nuclear-wind integration that utilized historical wind generation data from the Horse Butte wind farm in Idaho. Also discussed is the experience of Energy Northwest in their implementation of limited load-shaping at the Columbia Generating Station."