More than $22 million is being awarded to 10 industry-led projects, including two that will improve clean hydrogen production and one on a microreactor design, as the Department of Energy increases its focus on nuclear energy to assist the United States in securing clean energy.
Since 2018, the Office of Nuclear Energy has invested over $230 million across 48 projects from 31 companies to overcome regulatory obstacles in the nuclear industry, enhance the performance of existing reactors, and develop more advanced reactor designs.
In addition to the funding, on May 4, 2023, Westinghouse Electric Company unveiled their AP300 small modular reactor (SMR) and issued a pre-application regulatory engagement proposal to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Westinghouse is one of the companies that will use the funds from the DOE to research how to combine hydrogen technology with operational nuclear reactors.
General Electric is working on another hydrogen project, in which they will be expanding their co-electrolysis technology to make carbon-neutral aviation fuel. To show the concept, they will be utilizing an advanced nuclear reactor.
Other nuclear projects include X-energy’s preliminary design of a microreactor; the Electric Power Research Institute’s demonstration of advanced manufacturing of small modular reactor components to strengthen the U.S. supply chain; 3M’s development of an isotope recovery method to help the commercial deployment of molten salt reactors; and Constellation Energy Generation’s improvement of the operational effectiveness of its current set of nuclear reactors.
In addition, General Atomics, Terrestrial Energy, RhinoCorps, and Analysis and Measurement Services will explore and develop new approaches to dealing with nuclear regulations.