US Dept of Energy Provides $150 million in Funding for Small Nuclear Reactors

William Pentland of Forbes is reporting that the US Departmennt of Energy has signed an agreement with Babcock and Wilcox for around $150 million in funding for the development of B & W’s modular small nuclear reactors run by its mPower subsidiary that provide about 180 MW of electical generation that can run for four years without refueling.

National Geographic reported this month that the Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest public utility in the United States has partnered with Babcock and Wilcox to provide small modular plants to provide the first plant of its kind in the world.

National Geographic states:

SMRs have added safety features that would keep water circulating through a reactor core in the event of power loss, preventing a nuclear meltdown for weeks.

And there are other protections. The two reactors planned at the Clinch River site will be buried underground with a protective slab of concrete on top. This would make them safe from something like an airplane impact, Mowry says.

Others in the industry say SMRs will also be easier to maintain than existing nuclear plants.

Of course any nuclear fission plants, however much new models are improved over older ones, are going to have to deal with radioactive fuels and waste, and require expensive systems to maintain safety.

This news makes me wonder if there would there be any reason for the DOE or Babcock and Wilcox, for that matter, to be investing so much in conventional nuclear plants if they were aware and convinced of the utility and reality of LENR. Andrea Rossi still maintains that all energy sources will be integrated even when his technology is on the market. Will there still be a place for fission if cold fusion/LENR comes online?