In the coming days, President Biden will sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will provide around a half-trillion dollars in new funding, largely for priorities such as upgrading the U.S. electric grid, transportation systems, and broadband networks.
The bill provides almost $2.5 billion across six years for two cost-sharing agreements for nuclear reactor demonstrations that were first funded through fiscal year 2020 appropriations. The company TerraPower is building a 345-megawatt sodium-cooled reactor at a retired coal power plant in Wyoming, and the company X-energy is building a 320-megawatt reactor near DOE’s Hanford site in Washington that will employ TRISO, a pellet-based fuel designed to resist meltdowns. DOE has indicated it expects to provide $3.2 billion to the two projects in total. Separately, the bill includes $6 billion over five years to create and fund a Civil Nuclear Credit Program that will subsidize currently operating nuclear power plants facing economic difficulties.
Initiatives involving NC State Nuclear Engineering include,