Southern Company unit to help develop molten chloride fast reactors

Southern Company Services has been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant of up to $40 million to research and develop advanced reactor technologies, parent firm Southern Company said late last week.

Southern will work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TerraPower, the Electric Power Research Institute and Vanderbilt University through a public-private partnership, focusing on molten chloride fast reactor (MCFR) technology. Southern said this type of reactor likely would provide enhanced performance in energy generation, security and safety.

"Nuclear energy currently accounts for about 20 percent of the nation's energy mix, and its importance will continue to grow as America transitions to a low-carbon energy future," Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Fanning said. "This collaborative research effort will help accelerate the development of next-generation nuclear reactors."

The grant will be distributed in increments, with the first increment of $6 million already distributed.


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