The US Government has announced funding worth $3.5 million (£2.3m) for four advanced nuclear reactor projects in the country.
Led by GE Hitachi, General Atomics, Gen4 Energy and Westinghouse, the projects will address key technical challenges to designing, building and operating the “next generation” of nuclear reactors.
The US Department of Energy’s latest move is part of President Barack Obama’s plans to cut carbon pollution and spark innovation across a wide variety of energy technologies.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “Public-private research in advanced nuclear reactors will help accelerate American leadership in the next generation of nuclear energy technologies and enable low carbon nuclear power to be a significant contributor to the US energy economy.”
General Atomics will conduce research and development on the material used for fuel rod cladding – the outer layer of the fuel rods, standing between the coolant and the nuclear fuel – and GE Hitachi’s project will include the development of high temperature insulation materials and analysis tools to help design and manufacture electromagnetic pumps for liquid-metal-cooled nuclear reactors.
Gen4 Energy will conduct research and development on natural circulation designs for advanced nuclear reactors and develop computer models that will help visualise natural circulation flow and integrate it into safe, reliable reactor designs.
A recent survey found more than a third of the British public said they would support Government subsidy for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK.