U.S. Department of Energy today announced the first step toward
manufacturing small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the United
States, demonstrating the Administration’s commitment to advancing U.S.
manufacturing leadership in low-carbon, next generation energy
technologies and restarting the nation’s nuclear industry. Through the
draft Funding Opportunity Announcement announced today, the Department
will establish cost-shared agreements with private industry to support
the design and licensing of SMRs.
choice is clear—we can either develop the next generation of clean
energy technologies, which will help create thousands of new jobs and
export opportunities here in America, or we can wait for other countries
to take the lead,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The funding
opportunity announced today is a significant step forward in designing,
manufacturing, and exporting U.S. small modular reactors, advancing our
competitive edge in the global clean energy race.”
modular reactors, approximately one-third the size of current nuclear
plants, have compact designs that are expected to offer a host of
safety, siting, construction and economic benefits. Specifically, they
could be made in factories and transported to sites where they would be
ready to “plug and play” upon arrival, reducing both capital costs and
construction times. The small size also makes SMRs ideal for small
electric grids and for locations that cannot support large reactors,
providing utilities with the flexibility to scale production as demand
draft Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) announced today solicits
input from industry in advance of a full FOA, which will support
first-of-a-kind engineering, design certification and licensing through a
cost-shared partnership. The full FOA will fund up to two SMR designs
with the goal of deploying these reactors by 2022.
announcement comes on the heels of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s
certification of Westinghouse Electric’s AP1000 nuclear reactor design,
which was supported through a cost-shared agreement with the Energy
Department. The Department’s efforts, in coordination with the NRC and
private industry, have helped American companies lead the way in
obtaining certification and licensing approvals for new reactor designs,
which will further streamline these processes for future investments in
the U.S. nuclear industry.
For more information on SMRs, visit the Office of Nuclear Energy website.