Two projects selected for DOE funding awards

May 1, 2020, 1:16PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy announced on April 28 that the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) and the Southern Nuclear Development LLC (SND) would receive funding for their advanced nuclear technology development projects. The two awards—one to support site preparation for a future domestic advanced reactor demonstration project and the other for an advanced reactor regulatory licensing grant—have a total value of $5.4 million.

The Department of Energy uses grants through its Office of Nuclear Energy to fund projects designed to accelerate advanced nuclear development. The two most recent projects will receive a combined $5.4 million in funding awards. Graphic: DOE

The details: The DOE will fund the projects through its Advanced Reactor Development Projects program.

The Waverly, Ohio–based SODI will be awarded $4,956,589 for its project, Generic Design Support Activities for Advanced Reactors. SODI assembled a team to initiate characterization, permitting, and decontamination and decommissioning studies to support potential advanced reactor deployment at the DOE’s Portsmouth Site in Ohio. This work will entail the development of an early site permit template that will include a range of advanced reactor technologies, potentially supporting the DOE’s goal of demonstrating an advanced reactor by the late 2020s.

The Birmingham, Alabama–based SND will be awarded $462,383 for its project, Topical Report: Guidelines for Implementing Seismic Base Isolation in Advanced Nuclear Reactors to Reduce Risk and Overnight Capital Cost. SND will provide a pathway acceptable to and vetted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that an applicant could follow to develop, document, and qualify a seismic isolation system for an advanced reactor. The pathway will be presented in a report to be submitted to the NRC for review.

Background: The awards are through the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) funding opportunity announcement (FOA), U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development. This is the eighth round of funding provided through this FOA. The DOE announced previous funding awards in 2018 and 2019. Subsequent application reviews and selection processes will be conducted through December 2022, as supported by U.S. congressional appropriations. More information on the NE’s and previous funding announcements can be found online.

What they’re saying: “These cost-shared projects will allow the industry and government to work together to advance U.S. commercial nuclear capability,” said Rita Baranwal, NE’s assistant secretary. “Nuclear energy plays a vital role in our all-of-the-above energy strategy to meet increasing energy demand and clean energy goals.”

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