Energy Department Awards NuScale Second Round of Small Modular Reactor Funding

NuScale, the Fluor-backed Oregon company developing a 45-megawatt small modular reactor, will receive as much as $226 million from the Department of Energy to develop the technology.

The small company beat out Westinghouse, Holtec International and other competitors for the matching funds to support the design and licensing of SMRs. Babcock & Wilcox won the first award from the program a year ago.

“We are very pleased with the DOE’s decision to award funding to NuScale Power and the company’s revolutionary technology for nuclear energy safety," NuScale CEO John Hopkins said in a release. “We are grateful to all those stakeholders who have voiced their support for NuScale throughout the DOE selection process, including prospective customers, elected officials, our teaming partner Rolls Royce, as well as NuScale’s majority owner, Fluor Corp.”

The company will soon enter negotiations with the DOE on a contract outlining the five-year funding program. The agency set the funding aside with the goal of commercial operation of SMRs by 2025. According to a DOE release, the NuScale project will also support additional suppliers from California, Idaho, Washington, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, Texas and Maryland.

The NuScale Power Module originated at Oregon State University and the Idaho National Laboratory. It is smaller than many of its competitors for the DOE funding, but as many as 12 modules could be installed in a single plant, as needed. The company has been developing the concept using a third-scale test facility in Corvallis, Ore., and a full-scale control room simulator. NuScale says it is the only company in the country founded exclusively to commercialize SMRs.

Along with the funding announcement Friday, the DOE also published this infographic on SMRs:

SMR infographic. Source: DOE