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DOE signs on to INL Small Reactor Project

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to use an INL small modular reactor for national research in a new program called “JUMP,” a Joint Use Modular Plant. The research is focusing on integrated energy systems that support production of both electricity and non-electric energy projects.

The MOU includes DOE, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and Battelle Energy Alliance. It is intended to reflect the importance of resilient power from SMR’s and is part of the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project.

DOE intends to draw from two modules that are part of a 12-module SMR plant intended for construction at the Idaho National Laboratory. One module will be designated strictly for research activities under JUMP. Specifically, it is looking at the use of integrated energy systems that support production of both electricity and non-electric energy products. The other module will be used to provide power to INL facilities.

NuScale, which has contracted to build the project at INL, is pleased with the agreement. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins commented, “NuScale is pioneering SMRs in the United States, and we are proud to play a role in helping the U.S. maintain its leadership and influence in the broader international community. Through the JUMP Program, NuScale is excited to provide a cost-effective, one-of-a-kind opportunity for the national laboratory to conduct critical research, development and demonstration activities at the country’s first commercial SMR. NuScale’s involvement in the JUMP Program is yet another way we are revolutionizing the face of nuclear energy and charging ahead with the clean, safe and resilient energy of the future.”

“This agreement will allow DOE to meet its needs in the form of resilient power to a national security mission-based lab while drawing from our nation’s newest class of advanced reactors,” said Ed McGinnis, Nuclear Energy Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. “The JUMP program provides a unique opportunity for the nation’s leading nuclear laboratory to conduct nuclear energy research, and contribute to the successful commercialization of the nation’s first SMR.”

Specifically, the key components of the MOU are:

BEA and UAMPS intend to sign an agreement to use one of the NuScale Power Modules (NPMs) for INL research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities under the JUMP program. DOE and UAMPS intend to work together to engage the local utility, Idaho Power, regarding the supply of power produced by the project to support INL’s energy needs. INL will need up to 70 MW of power in the 2025-2030 timeframe.

You can learn more about the project here.

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