Pushing for an “all-out, all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the Obama administration last week announced new funding to advance the development of small modular reactors (SMRs) in the U.S.
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a total of $450 million to support “first-of-its-kind engineering, design certification and licensing” for up to two SMR designs over five years, subject to congressional appropriations. The DOE said it expects to solicit proposals for the SMR projects through cost-share agreements with private industry. The cost-share agreements will span a five-year period and, subject to congressional appropriations, will provide a total investment of approximately $900 million, with at least 50% provided by private industry.
The SMR projects would need to be manufactured domestically, have the potential to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and achieve commercial operation by 2022.