A federal safety committee has recommended that an early site permit be approved for small modular reactors at the Clinch River Nuclear Site in west Oak Ridge.
The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards recommended the approval in a January 9 letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The letter was signed by Michael L. Corradini, committee chair. The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards reports on the parts of an early site permit application that concern safety. The committee’s recommendation does not appear to have been previously reported.
An early site permit evaluates the suitability of a site for the potential construction and operation of a nuclear power plant. The permit application for two or more small modular reactors at the 935-acre Clinch River site was submitted by the Tennessee Valley Authority in May 2016. TVA said the reactors could generate up to 800 megawatts of electricity.
In a presentation to the Advisory Committee on December 6, TVA outlined what it appears to consider advantages of the Clinch River Nuclear Site: access to 500 kilovolt and 161 kilovolt transmission lines; being a neighbor to the U.S. Department of Energy, an interested customer; strong community support; and access to basic infrastructure and an abundant and skilled workforce. Also, TVA owns and controls the site, the public utility said in a presentation by Dan Stout, director of nuclear technology and innovation. [Read more…]