The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to build a modular nuclear power plant at the old Clinch River Breeder Reactor site in Oak Ridge over the next decade.

TVA-LogoThe Tennessee Valley Authority plans to build a modular nuclear power plant at the old Clinch River Breeder Reactor site in Oak Ridge over the next decade.

If approved, the plant could house up to six small reactors – each with the ability to produce 125 megawatts of electricity – and would be the first modular nuclear facility built in the United States.

The federal utility’s commitment to use more nuclear power while reducing its reliance on coal is a positive step for the region.

TVA plans to use mPower reactors designed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear Energy Inc. The Babcock & Wilcox design still awaits approval by federal regulators, but the concept of building smaller reactors in modular form has the potential to transform the way power plants are built in the future.

According to the firm, many components of the mPower reactors can be assembled off-site, which should reduce construction costs. The reactors are designed to be put underground, which Babcock and Wilcox claims provides more secure containment. The reactors are designed to go more than four years between refueling, and standardized components should make maintenance easier than for larger reactors with unique designs.

Click here to read the full article.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
Photo: Tennessee Valley Authority