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Nuclear plants getting Energy assistance

WASHINGTON — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that up to $40 million in funding would be available from the Department of Energy (DOE) to support design and planning work for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP).

NGNPs will use new, high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor technologies to integrate multiple industrial applications in one plant or facility, such as generating electricity while refining petroleum. NGNP will extend the application of nuclear energy into the broader industrial and transportation sectors, reducing fuel use and pollution and improving on the inherent safety of existing commercial light water reactor technology.

The NGNP project is being conducted in two phases with phase 1 comprised of research and development, conceptual design, and development of licensing requirements, and phase 2 comprised of detailed design, license review, and construction that would lead to a demonstration plant by 2021 that is capable of producing hydrogen, electricity and/or process heat. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) being released will support the following phase 1 activities: the development of cost-shared conceptual design(s), cost and schedule estimates for demonstration project completion and a business plan for integrating phase 2 activities DOE will use the information and data gathered in phase 1 as a basis for determining whether the project should continue to phase 2.

Applications for the FOA are due November 16, 2009. Applications must be submitted through www.fedconnect.net to be considered for award. DOE expects to make up to two awards in February 2010 with each supporting a unique reactor concept.

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