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Washington State Lawmaker Announces $25 Million Allocation for Small Modular Reactor Development

Washington State Rep. Stephanie Barnard on March 6 announced the allocation of $25 million in the state’s 2023-25 supplemental capital budget. The allocation, provided as a non-federal match for Washington State-based joint action agency Energy Northwest’s participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s loan programs office application, aims to advance the development of small modular reactors near the Columbia Generating Station.

Energy Northwest is the owner of Columbia Generating Station, the Pacific Northwest's only commercial nuclear power plant.

“Energy Northwest is thrilled with the unanimous support from the Washington State Legislature with their recent passage of a capital investment in advanced nuclear energy development in Washington,” said Bob Schuetz, Energy Northwest CEO.

“This investment reaffirms our state’s position as a committed leader in nuclear energy innovation. It demonstrates critical support from the State for our ongoing efforts to deploy advanced small modular reactors in central Washington and will build upon Energy Northwest’s continued leadership in helping the state meet its commitment to increase production of carbon free energy,” he said.

The $25 million allocation represents the first significant investment in nuclear energy generation by the Washington State Legislature in over a decade. “Since her freshman year in 2023, Barnard has been a driving force behind initiatives to explore advanced nuclear energy technology and its potential applications in Washington state,” her office noted.

During her first year in office, the state lawmaker spearheaded the formation of the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus.

The 2023-25 supplemental budget now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.

Energy Northwest Unveils $10 Million Investment

Energy Northwest on Jan. 10 announced an agreement with Puget Sound Energy to accelerate the agency's program examining the feasibility of developing and deploying a next-generation nuclear energy facility.

The agreement, a $10 million investment by Puget Sound Energy in Energy Northwest's new nuclear project feasibility phase, will guide future participation and investment decisions.

The collaboration does not obligate Puget Sound Energy to any future financial commitment nor signify an ownership interest in a developed project.

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