Senator Lamar Alexander on Thursday released the following statement on the federal government’s awarding of the second round of licensing support for the production of small modular nuclear reactors:

“This is another step toward an additional source of clean, cheap, reliable energy. Congress directed the U.S. Department of Energy to make up to two competitive licensing support awards, and now the department has done so.”

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday announced that it had selected Oregon-based NuScale for its second award for licensing support. The first award for licensing support went to Babcock & Wilcox of Tennessee, under which small modular reactors will be constructed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Small modular reactors are a form of technology under development that would allow for nuclear power installations that are smaller than traditional nuclear power plants, with less capital investment.