Science & Tech

Texas A&M University System To Bring Nuclear Reactors To Texas A&M-RELLIS

The initiative aims to enhance Texas' power grid and support technological growth with advanced nuclear energy solutions.
By Texas A&M University System May 29, 2024

Two men in suits speaking at a microphone during a press conference.
Dr. Sean McDeavitt, a Texas A&M University professor of nuclear engineering and associate vice chancellor for national laboratories, speaks to the media along with Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp during Wednesday’s announcement of the System’s plans to provide a platform for companies to test reactor technology at Texas A&M-RELLIS.

Texas A&M University System

 

Leaders at The Texas A&M University System announced plans Wednesday to bring the latest nuclear reactors to Texas A&M-RELLIS.

John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System, said the System seeks to provide a platform for companies to test the latest reactors and technologies. It also will address the pressing need for increased power supply.

“As Texas continues to grow, it is critical that we add more reliable, dispatchable power for all Texans,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “Texas A&M’s announcement to bring advanced nuclear technologies to its RELLIS campus is essential for Texas to expand our nuclear power capabilities that will help bolster our electric grid. Nuclear energy will continue to play an integral role in Texas so we can continue to meet the energy needs of our great state for generations to come.”

The next generation of nuclear reactors, with a potential power capacity ranging from 10 MW to 1 GW, have the potential to revolutionize power generation and meet the vast energy requirements of Texas. The new generation of reactors also could provide vital power sources for artificial intelligence companies, Sharp said.

“We at the Texas A&M University System understand the global need for more power,” Sharp said. “And we are positioned to bolster our grid and to provide the power for the latest technologies. We believe that nuclear power is the only solution to provide quick, clean, carbon-free and reliable energy to prevent blackouts and to foster innovation.”

To kickstart the latest nuclear initiative, the Texas A&M System will be seeking information — and later proposals — from manufacturers of nuclear reactors. Ultimately, the site could host multiple electrical power-generating facilities, and it could host first-of-a-kind reactors with a net increase of up to 1 GW of capacity that will have a direct connection to the grid operated by Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., or as it is more commonly called, ERCOT.

Sharp said the Texas A&M System is committed to developing power generation capabilities to ensure reliable electrical power provision to the RELLIS campus.

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

Representatives from the System and from the companies hope to stand up operational reactors within the next five to seven years.

Media contact: Laylan Copelin, 979 458-6425, lcopelin@tamus.edu

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