Westinghouse to Apply for Department of Energy Funding to Rapidly License Small Modular Reactor Technology

- Investment will advance clean energy technology and create thousands of jobs in years ahead

- Development of small modular reactors will provide the U.S. nuclear energy industry with a key competitive edge

Mar 22, 2012, 15:51 ET from Westinghouse Electric Company

PITTSBURGH, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse today affirmed that it will apply to the Department of Energy (DOE) in response to the final Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for investment funds worth up to $452 million. The fund was authorized by Congress to facilitate the rapid development and deployment of small modular reactor (SMR) technologies. The DOE plans to consider SMR applications that incorporate passive safety features and that can be licensed expeditiously, achieving a commercial operation date on a domestic site by 2022. The final FOA was issued by the U.S. Department of Energy today.

According to Dr. Aris Candris, Westinghouse president and chief executive officer, "Westinghouse will apply for the DOE's small modular reactor investment funds with a consortium of utilities. This federal support will provide the potential to expand the nation's options for nuclear power as well as to further the nation's competitive edge in the global clean energy race." 

The SMR technology represents the future in energy technology and will offer affordable, safe and secure sources of zero-carbon energy. Small modular reactors can replace or repower aging fossil plants, or complement existing industrial processes or power plants with an energy source that does not emit greenhouse gases. Additionally, the Westinghouse SMR can be coupled with other energy sources, including renewables and fossil energy, to leverage resources and produce higher efficiencies and multiple energy end-products while increasing grid stability and security.

The Westinghouse SMR builds upon the innovations and advances in technology achieved in the Westinghouse AP1000® reactor design. The Westinghouse SMR is a 225 MWe, integral pressurized water reactor, with all the primary components located inside the reactor vessel. It utilizes passive safety systems and proven components - realized in the industry-leading AP1000® reactor design - to achieve the highest level of safety and reduce the number of components required.  This approach will provide licensing, construction and operation certainty that no other SMR supplier can match with competitive economics.

"Westinghouse is well positioned to be the first to market with the safest and most economical small modular reactor," said Dr. Kate Jackson, Westinghouse chief technology officer and senior vice president, Research and Technology. "Our experience, capabilities, and licensing expertise are a competitive advantage for utility partners and help to ensure a rapid deployment of operating plants."

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants.

SOURCE Westinghouse Electric Company