The Department of Energy announced November 29 that it will help to finance the development of small modular reactors in a project that will be led by Babcock & Wilcox Co. in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Bechtel International. The agency is providing partial research and development funding, to the tune of $452 million, to perfect small modular reactor technologies, enabling companies to apply for design certification and licensing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for next generation nuclear reactors. The department will invest up to half the total project cost through a five-year cost-sharing agreement, with the goal of helping B&W to obtain licensing and achieve commercial operations by 2022. The agency will conduct a second solicitation in the near future for an additional project to be partially funded by the research and development program.