The University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the development of a new generation of cost-effective advanced nuclear reactors, such as small modular reactors, at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear Site in Roane County. TVA has not made a decision to build and would first need approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a specific design.
“UT offers unique capabilities supporting TVA’s mission for innovation in nuclear power,” TVA President & CEO Jeff Lyash said. “This partnership allows us to better explore new nuclear technologies through UT’s advanced modeling and simulation tools as we continue to pursue a clean energy future.”
"The partnership allows collaboration and evaluation of the economic feasibility of potentially operating light-water or non-light water fission reactors that build on the success of the current generation of reactors by leveraging the expertise of UT’s nuclear engineering department. This partnership also provides a unique opportunity to engage with students and prepare the nuclear workforce of the future," officials said.
“Established in 1957, our department is the oldest and one of the most prestigious in the country,” said UT Engineering Department Head Wes Hines. “This strategic partnership with TVA to build highly efficient advanced reactors will help us pave the way for a clean, reliable energy future.”
Officials said, "TVA signed a similar agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in February 2020 to explore advanced reactor designs as a next-generation nuclear technology with potential for improved safety and increased flexibility. TVA is the only utility in the nation with an approved early site permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to potentially build SMRs. These partnerships are important steps in the early stages of evaluation as TVA considers the prospect of new nuclear."