Further DOE funds for advanced nuclear technology projects

24 May 2019

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected three projects in three states in its latest quarterly application review to receive funding for cost-shared research and development for advanced nuclear technologies. The three projects will receive a total of almost USD10.6 million.

Accelerating Advanced Nuclear in the USA (Image: DOE)

The awards are through the US Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development, which is part of the Office of Nuclear Energy's funding opportunity announcement (FOA). This is the fifth round of funding through this FOA. The first, second and third groups were announced in April, July and November 2018, respectively. The fourth group was announced on 27 March this year. The total of the five rounds of awards is about USD128 million. Subsequent quarterly application review and selection processes will be conducted over the next four years.

Under the funding opportunity, solicitation for proposals is divided into three funding pathways: first-of-a-kind nuclear demonstration readiness projects; advanced reactor development projects; and, regulatory assistance grants.

The DOE announced yesterday that two projects had been selected to receive funding under the advanced reactor development projects pathway.

Utilities Service Alliance Inc of Overland Park, Kansas, is to receive DOE funding of USD9,183,255 to research, develop and deploy automation and advanced remote monitoring technology for the US nuclear fleet. This technology aims to achieve economic viability while maintaining or improving safety and reliability.

STP Nuclear Operating Company of Wadsworth, Texas - operator of the South Texas Project nuclear power plant - will receive USD942,477 to develop and implement advanced Fire PRA (probabilistic risk assessment) modelling techniques. These are aimed at removing existing conservatism and lead to realistic models to be used in the nuclear industry.

SC Solutions has been selected to receive USD470,483 in DOE funding under the regulatory assistance grants pathway. The Sunnyvale, California-based company will develop a non-linear soil-structure interaction analysis software verification and validation guidance document as a critical tool to facilitate cost reductions in nuclear plant licensing and construction.

The DOE said, "The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and private laboratories, institutions of higher education, and other domestic entities, to advance the state of US commercial nuclear capability."

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said: "There are a lot of US companies working on technologies to make the next generation of nuclear reactors safer and highly competitive, and private-public partnerships will be key to accomplishing this goal. The Trump Administration is committed to reviving and revitalising the US nuclear industry, and these partnerships are needed to help successfully develop innovative domestic nuclear technologies."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News