More DOE awards for nuclear technologies

12 May 2023

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $22.1m to 10 industry-led projects, including two aimed at expanding clean hydrogen production with nuclear energy and one focused on bringing a microreactor design closer to deployment. The other projects focus on nuclear regulatory hurdles, improving operations of existing reactors, and facilitating new advanced reactor developments.

These projects are funded through DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy’s NE’s) industry funding opportunity announcement (iFOA). Since 2018, the iFOA has invested more than $230m into 48 projects from 31 different companies across 18 states. To date, 28 of the selected projects have successfully been completed. This is the final round of awards through this funding opportunity. “This final round of awards supports technological advancements to ensure nuclear energy keeps delivering emissions-free power for all Americans,” said Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr Kathryn Huff.

NE in partnership with the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, selected two new projects to support clean hydrogen production using nuclear reactors and to demonstrate nuclear energy applications beyond electricity.

  • General Electric Global Research (Niskayuna, NY) will scale-up co-electrolysis technology to produce a carbon-neutral aviation fuel and demonstrate a conceptual design with an advanced nuclear reactor.
  • Westinghouse Electric Company (Cranberry Township, PA) will carry out a series of engineering studies that will provide insights on coupling hydrogen technology with existing nuclear reactors.

Other project teams selected under this funding opportunity include:

  • X-energy, LLC (Rockville, MD) will complete a preliminary design of a microreactor to advance design elements and bring it closer to commercial deployment.
  • The Electric Power Research Institute (Charlotte, NC) will demonstrate advanced manufacturing of small modular reactor components to support the US supply chain.
  • 3M Company (Saint Paul, MN) will develop an isotope recovery process to enable commercial deployment of molten salt reactors.
  • Constellation Energy Generation (Kennett Square, PA) will improve operational efficiency and flexibility of the current fleet of nuclear reactors.

The last four selected project teams will focus on regulatory hurdles:

  • RhinoCorps (Albuquerque, NM) will create a roadmap to help reactor licensees assess defensive strategies and incorporate modelling and simulation into their security assessment processes.
  • Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation (Knoxville, TN) will develop a blueprint that reduces maintenance costs and outage time for the current fleet of nuclear reactors.
  • General Atomics (San Diego, CA) will support accelerated fuel testing efforts to license new fuel types needed by advance reactor developers to deploy their technologies.
  • Terrestrial Energy USA (Greenwich, CT) will submit pre-licensing topical reports to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to advance the development of its molten salt reactors and reduce regulatory risk for advanced reactors.

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