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First US small modular reactor takes step toward reality

7:55 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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The nation's first small modular reactor is one step closer to becoming a reality right here in East Tennessee.

TVA and Babcock and Wilcox in Oak Ridge signed a contract earlier this month to begin the process of preparing a license application to present the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build SMRs.

The first small modular reactor plant would be built at TVA's Clinch River site in Oak Ridge. Officials hope to have it ready by 2022.

The license application is expected to be submitted to the NRC in 2015.

The SMRs will be about 20 percent as big as most nuclear power plants today, and can be fully contained underground for better safety and security.

TVA says they'll also be a lot less expensive, so smaller utility companies can afford to go nuclear.

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