DOE Investing Millions in Small Nuclear Reactors

Small modular nuclear reactors might be the energy solution of future.

The Department of Energy has pledged more than $400 million to develop small modular nuclear reactor sites within the United States, with the first grant recipient already chosen. Babcock & Wilcox and the Tennessee Valley Authority will receive a portion of the $452 million, though the number of the grant has not been revealed.

New reactors, made possible by this fund, will be equipped to power approximated 200,000 households (180 megawatts of electricity) and the small reactors will be a third of regular reactors in size. B&W currently operates three commercial nuclear plants.

In the upcoming decade, the Department of Energy plans to supply half of the new reactor cost. They estimate that the reactors will be generating power within the next ten years.

The new reactors are designed to be housed underground and run longer on the same amount of fuel being used now. Today, nuclear power plants generate about 20 percent of the nation’s energy. However, most plants are more than 30 years old.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2019

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