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Southern Company awarded nuclear technology grant

Southern Co., parent company of Mississippi Power, has been awarded up to $40 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to explore, develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear reactor technologies through subsidiary Southern Company Services.

The effort will be managed through a new public-private partnership with TerraPower, the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute and Vanderbilt University.

Housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the research will bolster the development of molten chloride fast reactors, an advanced concept for nuclear generation.

Southern Co. Chairman Thomas Fanning said. "This collaborative research effort will help accelerate the development of next generation nuclear reactors."

The MCFR project is one of two DOE cost-shared advanced reactor concept-development projects awarded $6 million, with an opportunity for $40 million each in total funding over multiple years.

Southern Co. is one of the first companies to build nuclear units in more than 30 years. The company is building the two new nuclear units at subsidiary Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle to power 500,000 homes and businesses.

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