KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Valley Authority made an announcement in Washington D.C. about the future of nuclear energy, alongside leaders from other energy companies.
TVA announced a partnership with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Ontario Power Generation and Synthos Green Energy to design a first-of-a-kind small modular nuclear reactor that will be used at the TVA’s Clinch River Site. The site will be an example for future sites, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Nuclear Energy Dr. Kathryn Huff said.
The Clinch River Site is part of the TVA’s New Nuclear Program, which the TVA board of directors provided $200 million for.
“TVA is preparing a construction permit application for a BWRX-300 at the Clinch River Site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee and exploring additional sites in the TVA service area for potential SMR deployments,” reads a TVA press release after the announcement.
GE Hitachi anticipates a total investment of $400 million to be associated with the development of the small modular reactor, the release adds.
If the project passes design and regulatory hurdles, the modular nuclear reactors could be implemented in Ontario, Canada, Poland and other sites. The plan of the partnership is to advance the global deployment of the GEB BWRK-300 Small Nuclear Reactor.
The CEOs of the four companies signed the Technology Collaboration Agreement during the conference.
“I applaud the leadership shown by OPG, TVA and SGE in working together to advance the common design of the BWRX-300,” GEH President and CEO Jay Wileman said. “This unprecedented collaboration, which spans three countries, will offer benefits to each of the team members and demonstrates confidence in the role that our SMR technology will play in helping nations meet decarbonization and energy security goals. Building on our design-to-cost approach, this collaboration will further strengthen the cost competitiveness of the BWRX-300.”
Each organization was represented by leaders, along with politicians including Tennessee Senators Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn, ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States Marek Magierowski, and Minister of Energy for Ontario Todd Smith.
Watch the full press conference below:
According to the Department of Energy, Advanced Small Modular Reactors offer advantages, such as small physical footprints, reduced capital investment and the ability to be sited in locations not possible for larger nuclear plants.
Earlier this month, Governor Bill Lee spoke at the site of Clinch River Nuclear Site, which he referred to as the “Future of energy in America.” According to a press release from the TVA about the New Nuclear Program, the program was approved in February 2022 and would oversee a project to prepare an application with for a light-water, small modular reactor at the Clinch River Site.
“I’m proud to support TVA’s efforts to bring the next generation of nuclear technologies to Tennessee & America. I will continue to fight in Congress for more federal support to expand nuclear energy nationwide,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann tweeted.