By Devin Henry - 01/15/16 01:52 PM EST
The Department of Energy has awarded two companies $40 million each to research advanced nuclear reactor designs, officials announced Friday.
Southern Co. and X-energy were awarded the funding, Energy said, which will go toward research into “key technical challenges to the design, construction and operation of next generation nuclear reactors.”
“In order to ensure that nuclear energy remains a key source for U.S. electricity generation well into the future, it is critically important that we invest in these technologies today,” Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest MonizThe Trail 2016: Donald and the Supremes Overnight Energy: EPA wants higher ethanol mandate Moniz dismisses Trump’s call to change climate deal MORE said in a statement.
“Public-private partnerships to develop advanced nuclear capabilities will enable low-carbon nuclear energy to power America for years to come.”
In a statement, Southern Co. said it will use its grant funding for ongoing nuclear research at a DOE national lab in Oak Ridge Tennessee.
“[Nuclear’s] importance will continue to grow as America transitions to a low-carbon energy future," Southern Co. CEO Thomas Fanning said. "This collaborative research effort will help accelerate the development of next generation nuclear reactors."
The grant announcement comes the same week a House panel approved a bill to promote nuclear energy research and development around the U.S.