DOE, TVA increase cooperation on nuclear fuel cycle data

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) agreed to collaborate on developing and exchanging information on advanced fuel cycle technologies through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon and TVA Chief Operating Officer William McCollum.

This joint effort furthers DOEÂ’s ongoing nuclear research and development activities and along with other analyses and studies from nuclear industry, universities and DOEÂ’s national laboratories will help to determine the best path forward for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).

“We look forward to gaining valuable knowledge and experience in working with TVA to advance the goals of GNEP and expand clean, safe nuclear power,” Dennis Spurgeon, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy said. “The information provided and utility perspective offered from this partnership will be vital in departmental decisions on GNEP and closing the nuclear fuel cycle in the United States.”

This MOU establishes the overall framework for the exchange of information and conduct of activities between the two organizations. Future work associated with this MOU, which would be detailed in an Interagency Agreement to be developed subsequent to the MOU, would be focused on providing supporting data and information to help inform DOE on advanced fuel cycle technology development concepts and include conceptual plans, utility perspectives, suitable business models and additional research and development needed for the advancement of nuclear technology.

“TVA is in a unique position to look for ways to improve how used nuclear fuel could be managed," said TVA Chief Operating Officer William McCollum. "We look forward to working with DOE to determine the best path forward.”

TVA currently operates six nuclear reactors as part of its power system, which serves approximately 8.8 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA recently restarted a nuclear unit at its Browns Ferry plant, has submitted a Combined License application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for two advanced reactor design nuclear units at its Bellefonte site and has resumed efforts to complete a second nuclear unit at its Watts Bar plant. TVA is the nationÂ’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.

GNEP was announced by President Bush in February 2006 and includes key nuclear research and technology development programs as well as international policy collaboration. Currently, 21 partner nations have joined the effort to globally expand nuclear power and help meet growing energy demand in a safe and secure manner, while at the same time reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation and responsibly managing spent nuclear fuel.


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