The largest public power company in the U.S. is launching a program to develop and fund new small modular nuclear reactors as part of its strategy to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The board for the Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday authorized the program to assess moving forward with new nuclear technology, with up to $200 million to be spent for the first phase. The TVA wants the technology to be available to help power the grid in the 2030s if it proves cost-effective and necessary, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves. The board met at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The federally owned utility provides electricity to seven states. It has the first U.S. permit for a suitable site for small modular reactors in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at the Clinch River Nuclear Site. By 2050, it hopes to hit its goal of net-zero emissions, which means the amount of greenhouse gases produced is no more than the amount removed from the atmosphere.