Federal clean-energy mandate favors smaller reactors

President Obama recently signed an executive order mandating that 25 percent of federal agencies' energy must come from clean-energy sources by 2025. | Contributed photo
An executive order recently signed into law by President Obama mandates that clean-energy sources, including small modular nuclear reactors, must make up at least 25 percent of the energy used by U.S. federal agencies by 2025.

The order, titled "Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade," strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while advocating for innovation and decreased spending.

The order directs federal agencies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent within the next decade. Priority will be given to reducing energy cost and use, along with "finding renewable or alternative-energy solutions."

The order defines energy from new small modular reactor (SMR) technologies as an alternative energy source, in addition to renewables and carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants.

The U.S. Department of Energy also supports the accelerated development and deployment of NuScale's 50 MWe self-contained pressurized water reactor. The five-year funding package, signed in May 2014, amounts to $217 million.

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