DOE, UAMPS agree on site for small modular nuclear reactor

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The Department of Energy announced that an agreement has been reached to support possible siting of an innovative small modular reactor project within DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory site.

This site use permit has been granted to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to support possible siting of an small modular reactor project within the boundary of DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory site.

“Small modular reactors are an important new step toward safe, reliable, carbon-free technology. Today’s announcement is a part of the Department of Energy’s ongoing commitment to strengthening nuclear energy’s role in America’s low carbon future,” said Lynn Orr, Under Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE.

The INL Site Use Permit signed by the U.S. Department of Energy and UAMPS allows the latter to access the INL site to analyze environmental, safety, and siting conditions.  UAMPS is currently working to identify potential locations that may be suitable for building the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project for further characterization and analysis.

As potential locations are identified on the INL site, those locations will be provided to the DOE to ensure that the use of such site would not conflict with INL mission work.

Site characterization activities will be conducted in accordance with all established INL site stewardship protocols to include environmental protection, and historic and cultural resource preservation.

The CFPP is a commercial venture on a federal compound, and the successful deployment of a small modular reactor design would provide U.S. utilities with a greater range of nuclear energy options to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. Small modular reactors feature compact, scalable designs that are expected to offer a host of safety, construction and economic benefits, and could potentially supply low-carbon baseload energy to small electric grids and locations that cannot support larger reactors.

If UAMPS identifies a suitable area within the INL site boundary for development of the CFPP, and if the Energy Department determines that the use of such site would not conflict with INL mission work, the design, construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of an SMR at the selected site would be licensed and inspected by the U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission, following extensive safety and environmental reviews.

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