Tennessee governor backs nuclear energy and TVA's plans for SMRs

January 25, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

During a tour last week of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s two-unit Watts Bar nuclear power plant in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee said, "Nuclear energy is so important not only because it is an important part of TVA's power generation but also because of the value that clean energy via nuclear energy can have for sustainability in this country,” according to an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lee added that he would support TVA’s plans if it decided to build small modular reactors.

Notes: TVA is the first utility in the U.S. to obtain an early site permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build SMRs, which TVA proposed to do at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tenn.

In addition, TVA is working with the Department of Energy and SMR designers on testing the new technology in Oak Ridge and ultimately at other sites across the TVA region.

According to the NRC, TVA used the plant parameter envelope (PPE) approach in its NRC application for analysis of the site, which means that a specific reactor design has not been selected. The NRC is evaluating the suitability of the site for the building and operation of SMRs within the PPE parameters.

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