TVA considering small modular reactor near Oak Ridge

oak ridge laboratory elp

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Just a week after voting to scrap an unfinished 1970s-era nuclear power plant in Alabama, the Tennessee Valley Authority began taking steps toward possible future construction of small modular reactors.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson says several designs for the new generation reactors are in the pipeline to be certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. TVA is asking the commission to approve a site plan that could accommodate any one of those designs at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge.

Hopson says the small reactors produce around 80-200 MW of power. In comparison, the traditional reactor at TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 will produce around 1,150 MW.

Unlike large reactors, the small reactors can be operated at different power levels and are designed to be used in combination.

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