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The effort to build a small modular reactor at TVA’s Clinch River site in Roane County continues to move forward.
Last week, TVA and Babcock & Wilcox announced a contract was signed between the two on Feb. 7.
“The agreement is the first definitive milestone in the U.S. Department of Energy’s recently initiated SMR Licensing Technical Support Program, which aims for commercial demonstration of SMRs by 2022,” TVA said in a news release.
The contract, according to TVA, also formalized the process toward the eventual submittal and Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of a licensing application for a B&W mPower small modular reactor at the site.
“B&W’s mPower reactor is being designed to produce 180 megawatts, about one-sixth the size of large light-water reactors being built today,” TVA said. “More of the equipment will be constructed in factories and shipped by rail to the plant site, resulting in reduced construction time and more standardization from plant to plant.”
TVA said the contract signed earlier this month defines responsibilities and work scopes for preparing a license application for NRC review, including a Clinch River site geological characterization, preliminary safety analysis report and site environmental report.
“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 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.”
Last year, DOE announced an award to support the effort between TVA and Babcock & Wilcox.
TVA said the DOE program provides $452 million in funding over five years.
TVA is considering deploying up to four of the reactors at Clinch River.
“Some site characterization work is already under way as part of the license application preparation, expected to be submitted to the NRC in 2015,” TVA said.
Roane County Executive Ron Woody said he’s glad to see the project moving forward.