Tennessee Valley Authority’s latest financial filing said the federal utility has an agreement in place with GE-Hitachi to potentially deploy a BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) at the Clinch River Nuclear site near Oak Ridge National Lab.

TVA’s new nuclear program, announced in February 2022, is expected to provide a roadmap for the utility’s exploration of advanced nuclear technology. This would include developing a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) construction permit application to deploy a light-water SMR at the Clinch River site.

At the time, TVA officials said they were in discussions with GE Hitachi to potentially deploy the BWRX-300.

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation reactor with passive safety systems based off the design and licensing of GE-Hitachi’s NRC-certified ESBWR. GE-Hitachi believes the BWRX-300 can become the lowest-risk, most cost-competitive and quickest SMR to market.

As the tenth evolution of the boiling water reactor (BWR), the company says the BWRX-300 represents the simplest, yet most innovative BWR design since GE began developing nuclear reactors in 1955.

In June, we reported that SaskPower selected the BWRX-300 SMR for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s.

SaskPower won’t decide whether to build an SMR until 2029. There is still a lot of work to be done, including years of project development, licensing and regulatory work. SaskPower said it was evaluating regions that could host an SMR and is expected to identify them later in 2022.

In December 2021, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) selected the GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 SMR for the Darlington New Nuclear Project in Ontario. The project is expected to be completed as soon as 2028.

We have requested comment from GE-Hitachi on this latest agreement with TVA and will provide updates to this story.

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