US State Department launches SMR support program: nuclear policies


April 29, 2021

The US State Department announced the launch of the Fundamental infrastructure for responsible use of small modular reactor technology (FIRST), which will provide “capacity building support to partner countries”. As an initial investment, the department has committed $ 5.3 million to support FIRST projects.


The program was unveiled during the Leaders Climate Summit that the Biden-Harris administration hosted last week.

“FIRST is a capacity building program designed to deepen strategic linkages, support energy innovation and advance technical collaboration with partner countries on safe and secure nuclear energy infrastructure,” the State Department said. . “Such cooperation includes supporting the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors (SMRs), in a manner consistent with the approach of the International Atomic Energy Agency milestones for implementation of a responsible nuclear power program. “

The benefits of SMRs he highlighted include: “reduced costs, scalability, flexibility and the ability to combine with other clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power”; desalination of water; replacing coal to fuel energy-intensive industrial processes; and hydrogen production to help decarbonise transportation and other sectors.

FIRST strengthens U.S. relationships with international partners, including through engagements with government, industry, national laboratories and academic institutions, the State Department said.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News

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