In his April 3, 2012, Memorandum to Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Chairman William Perry, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu charged:
“The broad purpose of the SEAB subcommittee on SMRs is to advise the Secretary on ways to advance this technology to achieve a global leadership role in civil nuclear technology for the United States, and ways for DOE to accelerate that role.”
In the context of the Subcommittee’s deliberations, it is important to note that the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy issued a Funding Announcement Opportunity (FOA) on March 22, 2012, for a Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program; a government-industry cost share program for the expeditious design certification and licensing of up to two SMRs. The subcommittee had no engagement with this FOA process and, because DOE’s evaluation of proposals was underway at the time of our work, we were not able to interact with any of the potential bidders. All the information that the Subcommittee received was based upon publically available sources. At the time of this writing, the Department of Energy (DOE) had not yet announced the awardees for this procurement.