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.”
The department plugged nuclear as a “critical” source of energy, providing nearly 20 percent of the electricity generated in the United States annually. The funding released Friday is part of a White House initiative to support research into advanced nuclear energy.
“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 Jeffrey MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Moniz: Texas blackouts show need to protect infrastructure against climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran 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.