The US Department of Energy (DOE) on 24 May announced further funding for advanced nuclear technology projects. Three projects in three states will receive a total of approximately $11 million in funding under cost-sharing arrangements. This is the latest round of funding through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) funding opportunity announcement (FOA), US Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development. Previous rounds were announced in April, July and November 2018 and in March 2019. The total of the five rounds of awards is approximately $128 million. Subsequent quarterly application review and selection processes will be conducted over the next four years.
The funding follows three pathways: First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) Nuclear Demonstration Readiness Project pathway, addressing major advanced reactor design development projects or complex technology advancements for existing plants which have significant technical and licensing risk and have the potential to be deployed by the mid-to-late 2020s; Advanced Reactor Development Projects pathway, for proposed concepts and ideas that are best suited to improving the capabilities and commercialisation potential of advanced reactor designs and technologies; Regulatory Assistance Grants pathway, providing direct support for resolving design regulatory issues for advanced reactor designs and capabilities.
The two projects selected under the Advanced Reactor Development Projects pathway include:
- Advanced Remote Monitoring (DOE Funding: $9,183,255; Non-DOE: $4,081,445). Utilities Service Alliance will research, develop, and deploy automation and advanced remote monitoring technology into the US nuclear fleet to achieve economic viability while maintaining or improving safety and reliability.
- STPNOC FIRE PRA 2019 (DOE Funding: $942,477; Non-DOE: $235,619). STP Nuclear Operating Company is to develop and implement advanced Fire PRA modelling techniques that will remove existing conservatism and lead to realistic models to be used in the nuclear industry.
One project was selected under the Regulatory Assistance Grant pathway:
- Software Verification and Validation Guidelines for Nonlinear Soil-Structure Interaction Analysis to Enable Cost-Effective Advanced Reactor Design (DOE Funding: $470,483; Non-DOE: $117,621). SC Solutions will develop a nonlinear soil-structure interaction analysis software verification and validation guidance document as a critical tool to facilitate cost reductions in nuclear plant licensing and construction.