The US Department of Energy (DOE) and Fluor’s NuScale Power, in which Fluor is the majority investor, have entered into a contract agreement to support the company’s nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, US DOE will provide funding up to $217m over five years to NuScale to support the development, licensing and commercialisation of the company’s nuclear SMR technology.

The funds will also help the company develop its SMR design, which is expected to revolutionise the next generation of nuclear power plants.

"The funds will also help the company develop its SMR design."

Capable of delivering the energy diversity needed to replace aging coal plants, the reactor technology will be a more flexible and cost-effective nuclear power solution that can power growing populations while reducing emissions.

Fluor Business Development & Strategy executive vice-president Dave Dunning said, "After the competitive progress to receive the award and ultimate signing, DOE’s significant investment in the technology is helping us show the value of NuScale’s SMRs to investors, manufacturers and other supply chain partners so that we can help build the future of nuclear power."

NuScale is scheduled to launch a new operation and engineering center in Charlotte, North Carolina, which would create 70 jobs.

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In the second half of 2016, the company is planning to submit its design certification application, backed by DOE and Fluor, and if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s schedule is maintained certification is expected in 2020.

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