WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- The White House announced plans to share the cost with the private sector to develop and license small modular nuclear reactors.
The Obama administration said it was offering $450 million in a cost-sharing plan meant to support engineering, design, certification and licensing for small modular reactors.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the funding would help strengthen his country's competitive edge in the clean energy sector.
"Through the funding for small modular nuclear reactors announced today, the Energy Department and private industry are working to position America as the leader in advanced nuclear energy technology and manufacturing," he said in a statement.
Small modular reactors are about 30 percent the size of conventional nuclear plants and Chu's department said they're expected to offer "a host" of safety benefits.
SMRs under the proposal would be 50 percent funded by the private sector. The budget for the program is subject to congressional appropriations.