The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to fund up to $900 million to support the initial U.S. deployments of Generation III+ small modular reactor (SMR) technologies.

DOE estimates the U.S. will need approximately 700-900 GW of additional clean, firm capacity to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and it says nuclear power is a proven option that could be deployed to meet this need, including the growing demand from artificial intelligence and other data centers and the reshoring of manufacturing.

Created by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 and funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE anticipates offering funding in two tiers:   

DOE anticipates releasing a funding solicitation in late summer or fall of 2024.

DOE said projects are expected to (1) support meaningful community and labor engagement; (2) invest in quality jobs; (3) advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and (4) contribute to the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities (the Justice40 Initiative). The strength of a proposal’s community benefits, including a project’s impact on equity and environmental justice, will be considered when reviewing applications. 

“President Biden is determined to ensure nuclear power — the nation’s single largest source of carbon free electricity — continues to serve as a key pillar of our nation’s transition to a safe and secure clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcement will support early movers in the nuclear sector as we seek to scale up nuclear power and reassert American leadership in this critical energy industry.” 

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