When it comes to funding, there is a misconception that only other companies can fund an existing company. But, it has been reported by Wendy Koch of USA TODAY that the Obama government will fund half the cost of a five year project. This project will give rise to designing of small modular reactors for the U.S.
The energy department confirming the news has said that the funding has attracted private contributors including Bill Gates, and aims to have these reactors in function by 2022. The Department is in talks with Babcock & Wilcox, an energy based company to join hands with them for the project along with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Bechtel International.
"Low-carbon nuclear energy has an important role to play in America's energy future," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in announcing the funds, reported Wendy Koch of USA TODAY. He further stated that President Obama will stand by companies which take up such a social initiative. He also said that the Department of Energy (DOE) will accept funding requests, from other companies developing technology.
Small Molecular Reactors (SMRs) are one third the size of present nuclear plants. Though these plants have not been implemented on a large scale in the U.S. it can be used on a larger scale as the flexibility and safety factors play a vital role. SMRs can be made in the U.S. factories and utilized in places where it is needed the most, like the remote areas that cannot support large reactors.
There are many companies which are developing new reactors with varied features such as Hyperion Power Generation, Toshiba, General Atomics, General Electric and TerraPower.
SMRs are meant for the future as they consume only 180 megawatts of power when compared to nearly 1,000 watts of power in the large reactors. It is cost effective and flexible in nature too. The U.S. should start the licensing process soon.