WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides electricity to North Alabama and parts or all of seven states, is embarking on a new multi-national partnership.

The utility announced Thursday the partnership will work on developing and deploying a new smaller, modular reactor.

TVA said it will be working with Canada-based Ontario Power Generation and Synthos Green Energy of Poland focused on early-stage deployment to advance the global deployment of the GEH BWRX-300 small modular reactor made by GE-Hitachi. TVA said it is putting together a construction permit application for a reactor at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The announcement today focused on developing new nuclear technology and officials stressed that nuclear power’s lack of greenhouse emissions can help reduce carbon emissions. No cost specifics were announced but the parties are committing a combined $400 million, TVA said.

TVA CEO Jeff Lyash said it’s a partnership that includes power companies, industrial companies, regulators from different countries and more.  

“It’s about a partnership between three countries, the United States, Canada and Poland,” he said during the partnership announcement in Washington, D.C. “Because what’s important to make this successful is certainly the technology, but it’s that partnership. And by demonstrating this we hope that will demonstrate leadership, in the industry, and around the world to develop one of the critical solutions, not the only one, but one of the critical solutions to take us to that secure, decarbonized, energy future. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

TVA said today there is no defined construction start date. The proposal is part of TVA’s “advanced nuclear” planning, looking at a range of nuclear reactor designs for potential deployment.

The parties said today the overall aim of the partnership is to establish that the BWRX-300 reactor’s standard design is deployable in multiple jurisdictions including, the U.S. Canada and Poland.

GE-Hitachi says the BWRX-300 reactor design features include the prospect of faster construction, smaller plant layout and less complexity.