TVA files with NRC on Tennessee small modular nuclear reactors

small modular reactors

The Tennessee Valley Authority has submitted its Early Site Permit Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assess the potential for construction and operation of small modular reactor units at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

SMRs offer nuclear energy technology that, if deployed, would play a key role in TVA’s continued mission of energy, environment and economic development for the nine million people of the Tennessee Valley. The application positions TVA as an industry leader for potential development of the technology.

“This submittal is a key milestone for our company and the nuclear industry,” said TVA Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Grimes. “TVA is the first in the industry to submit any type of application related to SMRs to the NRC. It’s a significant event for us as we continue exploring potential SMR technology as a way of expanding our diverse portfolio to ensure a safe, reliable supply of energy for those we serve.”

The NRC will use the application to review site safety, environmental and emergency preparedness requirements for potential construction of the next-generation nuclear technology at the 1,200-acre location.

“This is the next big step in evaluating the suitability of the Clinch River site for potential future construction and operation of SMRs,” said Dan Stout, TVA senior manager for small modular reactors.

TVA’s exploration into SMR technology is in line with the company’s mission for technological innovation as part of its continuing efforts towards cleaner and more diversified energy generation. The application and subsequent work on the review and approval process is co-funded under an Interagency Agreement between TVA and the U.S. Department of Energy. The submittal of the permit is firmly aligned with the key strategic DOE goal of accelerating SMRs into the domestic marketplace.

 “We’re still several years away from any potential construction decision,” said Stout. “However, the application process helps pave the way for TVA to expand on its mission of environmental stewardship through clean energy development and for DOE to support licensing and siting requirements for U.S.-based SMR projects.”

TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity.

In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

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