Tennessee Valley Authority Board Authorizes New Nuclear Program to Explore Innovative Technology


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors ratified approval of a programmatic approach to exploring advanced nuclear technology as a component of its decarbonization goals as discussed at its meeting Thursday.

According to a press release by the company, as part of the development of innovative, cost-effective technologies that will achieve TVA’s aspiration of a net-zero carbon energy future, as outlined in its strategic intent and guiding principles, advanced nuclear technology is one of several technologies TVA is investigating. Other technologies include next-generation energy storage, carbon capture, new hydroelectric pumped storage and hydrogen. In addition, TVA continues to expand its renewable energy portfolio, including the targeted addition of up to 10,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2035.

“Achieving a carbon-free energy future is a shared priority and TVA is developing a diverse portfolio of clean energy sources – like advanced nuclear technologies – that will help address this challenge,” Jeff Lyash, TVA president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “There is no single answer to achieving our nation’s clean energy targets – it will require collaboration and innovation. Working alongside industry partners will allow TVA to go further, faster in developing innovative, cost-effective technologies that will not only help the people of the Tennessee Valley but also support the energy security of the nation.”

The new nuclear program (NNP) will provide a disciplined, systematic “roadmap” for TVA’s exploration of advanced nuclear technology, both in terms of various reactor designs being proposed and potential locations where such facilities may be needed in the region to support future energy needs, according to the press release. The process will include specific decision points that would allow TVA to withdraw from plans or projects if they are no longer feasible or not in the best interest of the region.

The NNP will also coordinate TVA’s collaborative efforts with other utilities, government agencies, research institutions and organizations on advanced nuclear technologies, the press release notes.

One of the first tasks the NNP will pursue is a project to develop a nuclear regulatory commission construction permit application and potentially deploy a light-water small modular reactor at the Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, which currently holds the only NRC early site permit for SMRs in the nation, according to the press release.

Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) applauded TVA’s NNP, writing on Twitter, “Nuclear power supports good paying jobs while keeping energy prices stable for consumers. Increasing domestic nuclear production is the future of American energy independence, and I am excited @TVAnews innovators are working towards expanding its use in the Southeast.”

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.



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3 Thoughts to “Tennessee Valley Authority Board Authorizes New Nuclear Program to Explore Innovative Technology”

  1. 83ragtop50

    The problem with this is that the rich and powerful will not be able to continue cashing in on the scams of solar and wind power. (Re: Bredesen, et. al) Look for a big push back from those leeches.

  2. Steve Allen

    I am so glad the see the TVA looking into the use of nuclear power as a clean energy source. Those fools on the left all jump up and down waving their hands in the air over how bad nuclear power is and how it should be avoided at all costs. That right there is a real tell. There must be a reason why they scream and holler about the evils of atomic power, perhaps a yet to be realized benefit.

    If you swallow the malarkey about dirty fossil fuel, then we obviously need a reliable source of power. After working in the renewable energy field and having lived for thirty years in the Socialist Republic of Vermont I have firsthand experience with renewable energy. It is the most unreliable form of power generation in existence, AND it is the most expensive. There is something very suspicious about the lefts overboard desire to vilify nuclear power and totally rely on unreliable renewable energy.

    1. Merrill Jackson

      I have a lot of faith in the TVA.
      The keyword here is “hydrogen” in the second paragraph. The only way hydrogen could conceivably used to produce energy is through use in fusion reactors.

      Alright, now we’re talking!!