United States The US Department of Energy (DoE) is trying to step up activities to enable the industry to construct new plants, but the DoE is looking for industry commitments before making steep investments.
"This administration has been clear - it would like to see more nuclear power," William Magwood IV, director of DoE's nuclear energy programme told an industry conference.
DoE provided funding to Exelon and Dominion for scoping work on the potential for federal sites to host new plants. Exelon was awarded $217,000 for scoping at one site, and Dominion was given $330,000 to study three sites. Neither the DoE nor the utilities have said which companies are exploring which sites.
The initial estimate for the work had been $700,000, but the DoE awarded $547,000 for the project. Three of the four sites under review were Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory, and the Portsmouth gaseous diffusion plant site in Ohio.
As part of the 2010 initiative, DoE selected Dominion, Entergy and Exelon for a $17 million cost-sharing project to demonstrate NRC's early site permit process. The money will be distributed over four years, and each utility will have to contribute at least half of the costs.
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