Savannah River Announces Agreements With Small Modular Reactor Developers

The Department of Energy announced agreements Friday that could allow three companies to site prototype small modular reactors at the Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina.

The agreements are tentative steps to allow Hyperion Power Generation, Holtec International and NuScale Power to explore land use and site services agreements with SRS. The memoranda of agreement allow the firms access to SRS information, facilities and technical expertise in an effort to help them develop their respective SMR designs.

“The Obama administration continues to believe that low-carbon nuclear energy has an important role to play in America’s energy future,” Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said in a release. “We are committed to restarting the nation’s nuclear industry and advancing the next generation of these technologies, helping to create new jobs and export opportunities for American workers and businesses.”

The agreements are separate from federal funding the energy department has proposed for SMR research. In January, DOE began taking comments on a proposed five-year, $452 million grant program for SMR research. The final Funding Opportunity Announcement is expected this spring, with an industry day/pre-bidders’ conference scheduled tentatively for April. Any long-term projects would be dependent on year-to-year funding from Congress and the White House. Although DOE remains committed to SMRs, proposing $65 million to support their development in the fiscal year 2013 budget.

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  • Hyperion Press Release - Today

    Hyperion Power Generation Inc. Plans to Deploy an Advanced Hyperion Reactor at the DOE Savannah River Site

    DOE Savannah River Site agreement establishes the next steps toward deployment

    Hyperion Power Generation Inc. (HPG), the Department of Energy - Savannah River (DOE-SR), and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have announced their commitment to deploy a privately-funded first-of-a-kind Hyperion reactor at the DOE Savannah River Site.  

    "This is an important value-creating event for the company," said Hyperion Power Generation's CEO, Bob Prince, "Securing a first site is a key contributor toward our continued forward progress." Prince also stated "The Savannah River Site and the Southeast region have the skilled workforce and an optimal site to support the next generation of advanced nuclear power technology."

    "We have a unique combination of nuclear knowledge and laboratory expertise, infrastructure, location and much more to make the Site a natural fit for advancing the small modular reactor technology," said Dr. Dave Moody, DOE-SR Manager. "I am extremely pleased to announce this exciting and promising new initiative for Savannah River Site."

    The recent DOE announcement of the partnership is based on an executed Memorandum of Agreement between the parties that establishes next steps towards deployment. These steps include working toward target dates for Land Use, Site Services, and Technical Assistance agreements, with licensing to be accomplished under the authority of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

    "It is important that we achieve NRC licensing to provide worldwide confidence in the technology and design of our advanced Generation 4 reactor" said Dave Carlson, COO and Chief Nuclear Officer with HPG.