DOE Funds On-Site, Submerged Nuclear Technology

by | Dec 16, 2013

DOE Energy ManageThe Energy Department gave an award to NuScale Power for a project to design small, modular, nuclear reactors in the United States.

Corvallis, Ore.-based NuScale could receive up to $226 million to advance the design of modular nuclear reactors, which would be installed under water to reduce the threat of meltdowns, reports the New York Times.

Through a five-year cost-share agreement, DOE will invest up to half of the total project cost, with the project’s industry partners matching this investment by at least one-to-one. The specific total will be negotiated between DOE and NuScale and will be derived from the total $452 million identified for the Department’s Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support program.

DOE previously funded Babcock & Wilcox for its small nuclear model, called mPower, says the New York Times.

The Energy Department investment will help NuScale obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commission design certification and achieve commercial operation around 2025.

The project will be based in Oregon and will support additional suppliers and operations in California, Idaho, Washington, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, Texas and Maryland.

The Energy Department is seeking small modular reactor designs – about one-third the size of current nuclear power plants – that can be made in factories and transported to sites where they would be ready for installation upon arrival.

Photo by the Energy Department

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