Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today congratulated NuScale Power and Oregon State University, after the Department of Energy announced it will invest in the Corvallis company’s research and development of a new generation of safer and smaller nuclear reactors.
The DOE is investing in NuScale Power’s promising work in developing a “small modular reactor,” which is generally thought to be safer, more flexible and cutting-edge than the current generation of nuclear power plants. NuScale’s reactor is designed to shut down and cool itself in the event of a mishap, rather than depending on cooling pumps or other equipment that can go offline during a power outage. This technology, originally developed by researchers at Oregon State University, was granted to NuScale Power to help commercialize this design.
“Innovative projects like these could one day be the game changers in the way we meet our energy needs,” Wyden said. “As older nuclear power plants begin to go offline, it simply makes sense to explore ways to make nuclear power a much safer and more cost-effective way to provide low-carbon power.”
NuScale Power competed with other applicants after the DOE announced the funding opportunity in March 2013. DOE did not announce how much funding NuScale will receive. However, the department will provide up to half the cost of the project over a five-year cost-share agreement, with industry partners meeting the remaining costs. NuScale employs more than 200 people in Corvallis, Oregon.