Texas A&M University System brings nuclear reactors to Texas A&M-RELLIS

Dr. Sean McDeavitt, professor of nuclear engineering at Texas A&M University and associate chancellor for national laboratories, speaks with the media along with John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, during the announcement of the system's plans to provide companies with a platform to test reactor technology at Texas A&M-RELLIS on Wednesday.

Texas A&M University System

Texas A&M University System officials announced plans Wednesday to bring the latest nuclear reactors to the Texas A&M RELLIS Institute.

John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M system, said the system aims to provide a platform for companies to test the latest reactors and technologies and meet a pressing need for improved power supply.

“As Texas continues to grow, it is critical that we provide more reliable, on-demand power to all Texans,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Texas A&M's announcement to bring advanced nuclear technologies to its RELLIS campus is critical for Texas to expand our nuclear power capacity to strengthen our electric grid. Nuclear energy will continue to play an essential role in Texas so we can meet the energy needs of our great state for generations to come.”

The next generation of nuclear reactors, with a potential output of 10 MW to 1 GW, has the potential to revolutionize power generation and meet Texas' enormous energy needs. The new generation of reactors could also provide important energy sources for companies in the field of artificial intelligence, Sharp said.

“At the Texas A&M University System, we understand the global need for more energy,” Sharp said. “And we have the ability to strengthen our grid and provide the power for the latest technologies. We believe nuclear energy is the only solution to provide fast, clean, carbon-free and reliable energy to prevent blackouts and encourage innovation.”

To jumpstart its latest nuclear initiative, the Texas A&M System will solicit inputs – and later bids – from nuclear reactor manufacturers. Ultimately, the site could house multiple power-generating facilities, and it could host the first-of-its-kind reactors with a net capacity increase of up to 1 GW that would be directly connected to the grid of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., or as it is more commonly called, ERCOT.

Sharp said the Texas A&M System is committed to expanding power generation capacity to ensure reliable power to the RELLIS campus.

“This project at Texas A&M-RELLIS will usher in a new era of sustainable and reliable power generation,” Sharp said.

Representatives of the system and the companies hope to have the reactors operational within the next five to seven years.

Anna Harden

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