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U.S. announces $40 mln to develop Next Generation Nuclear Plant
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-03-09 07:22

The U.S. government on Monday announced selections for the award of approximately 40 million dollars in total to two teams led by Westinghouse Electric Co. and General Atomics for conceptual design and planning work for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP).

The results of this work will help the administration determine whether to proceed with detailed efforts toward construction and demonstration of the NGNP, said the U.S. Energy Department in a statement.

If successful, the NGNP Demonstration Project will demonstrate high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technology that will be capable of producing electricity as well as process heat for industrial applications and will be configured for low technical and safety risk with highly reliable operations.

Final cost-shared awards are subject to the negotiation of acceptable terms and conditions.

"This investment reflects President Obama's commitment to building the next generation of nuclear reactors that will create thousands of jobs and supply the clean energy to power our economy, " said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

"It's time for America to recapture the lead in the nuclear energy industry and lay the foundation for a stronger, cleaner, and more competitive economic future," he added.

The NGNP project is being conducted in two phases. Phase 1 comprises research and development, conceptual design and development of licensing requirements.

The selections announced Monday will support the development of conceptual designs, cost and schedule estimates for demonstration project completion and a business plan for integrating Phase 2 activities.

The Department of Energy will use information from its independent Federal advisory committee, the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, information and data gathered in Phase 1, and other factors in determining whether the project should continue to Phase 2.

Phase 2 would entail detailed design, license review and construction of a demonstration plant.

The Energy Department said that it will now negotiate the final terms and conditions for the awards with the intention of completing conceptual designs by August 31, 2010.

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