KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Tennessee Valley Authority and Babcock & Wilcox announced Wednesday a major step in their joint effort to build and test the nation’s first small modular reactor at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge.
“TVA and B&W have now officially launched their team effort towards evaluating this new technology for the nuclear industry and starting the analysis process at TVA’s Clinch River Site,” said Dr. Joe Hoagland, TVA senior vice president for Policy and Oversight.
“With strong support from DOE, we look forward to the successful development, demonstration, and analysis of SMR technology as a potential option to help TVA and the nation meet our clean-energy goals for the future.”
Work will begin at the Clinch River Site once B&W Power and DOE sign a cooperative agreement for the grant funds. The DOE program, which provides $452 million in funding over five years, has received more than $67 million in appropriations from Congress. Under the program, DOE will fund as much as 50% of the cost of design and licensing.
TVA is evaluating the Clinch River Site for potential deployment of up to four SMRs.
B&W’s Power reactor is being designed to produce 180 megawatts, about one-sixth the size of large light-water reactors being built today.
Other potential benefits include fully underground containment for improved safety and security, and clean base-load generation capacity in smaller, more flexible, lower-cost increments, according to TVA.
TVA has been evaluating SMRs, one of its signature technologies, since 2009.