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U.S. funds new nuclear power technology

Steven Chu 11 March 2010.JPG

Steven Chu, The U.S. Energy Secretary wants the U.S. To recapture the lead in the nuclear energy industry and set the stage for a more competitive economic future as the following snippet shows:

WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- The United States needs to retake its position as the global leader in the nuclear energy sector, the U.S. energy secretary said in Washington.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that Pittsburgh's Westinghouse Electric Co. and San Diego's General Atomics were selected for a $40 million effort to design and plan work for the next generation of U.S. nuclear power plants.

Chu said the investment is part of a Washington plan to build new nuclear power reactors to provide a source of clean energy.

"It's time for America to recapture the lead in the nuclear energy industry and lay the foundation for a stronger, cleaner, and more competitive economic future," he said.

The next-generation project proceeds in two phases: research and development and then a move toward the design and construction of a demonstration plant.

Chu said the project would help Washington determine the viability of the next-generation nuclear plant program. If successful, the Energy Department said, the project would demonstrate a high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor that can produce electricity and process heat.

The Energy Department said roughly 16 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from industrial process heat applications. Steam from nuclear reactors could reduce those emissions.

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