Small Modular Reactors: Adding to Resilience at Federal Facilities

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A row of power lines against a sky at dusk.

Kutak Rock LLP and Scully Capital Services Inc., with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), have produced a report addressing the need for clean and reliable power by looking specifically at how a small modular reactor (SMR) operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) could meet DOE’s needs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This report explores the authorities and limitations, assesses economics, and provides DOE with a set of recommendations.  

Recommendations include the following:

  • Permit federal agencies to enter into agreements with a term of up to 30 years to purchase power produced by SMRs.
  • Facilitate TVA’s Clinch River Site project as a pilot project for SMRs, while simultaneously providing DOE with critical energy resilience and a potential opportunity to conduct research and isotope services.
  • Extend the 2005 Energy Policy Act Production Tax Credits and allow applicability to public power entities.
  • Authorize the DOE Loan Program to continue to support advanced reactors.
  • Include nuclear power in the definition of “clean power,” and if the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan continues, add a rule that encourages states to support SMRs giving them credit for the zero-carbon energy.
  • DOE and the U.S. Department of Defense should collaborate to identify facilities that can benefit from hosting or having an SMR located near the facility to achieve added energy resilience.

Read the full report below.