DoE opens advanced nuclear funding applications

11 December 2014

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has formally issued a solicitation for federal loan guarantees worth up to $12.5 billion to support advanced nuclear energy projects.

According to DoE, the Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Solicitation would provide loan guarantees to support the construction of "innovative nuclear energy and front-end nuclear projects in the US that reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions." Although open to any project that meets the eligibility requirements, DoE has identified advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors (SMRs), uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear projects as key technology areas of interest. SMRs are identified as being nominally less than 300 MWe in size.

Some $2 billion of the $12.5 billion available under the solicitation has been exclusively earmarked for advanced nuclear technologies for the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle: uranium conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication.

The funding was announced by DoE in September and is part of US strategy to meet its goal of a low-carbon future through an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy. It is the fourth currently open solicitation from the department's loan program office, alongside solicitations for projects for advanced fossil energy, renewable and efficient energy, and advanced technology vehicle manufacturing.

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said $40 billion loan guarantee program would support the development of innovative clean energy technologies. "This solicitation will help the US build the next generation of safe and secure nuclear energy projects by providing the critical financing needed for innovations that have not been widely deployed at commercial scale in this country," he said.

Applications will undergo a two-part review process, with the first part determining basic eligibility and the second comprising confirmatory due diligence. Part I applications are due by 18 March 2015.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News