Advanced nuclear technology prominent in special infrastructure spending legislation

Excerpt from New Infrastructure Law to Provide Billions to Energy Technology Projects

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,