Governor Kay Ivey announced that Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp., (USNC) a Seattle-based company that’s expanding micro-reactor technologies, plans to invest $232 million to locate a facility in Gadsden to produce its industry-leading Micro-Modular Reactor.
The highly automated MMR Assembly Plant (MAP) will manufacture, assemble, test and inspect the non-radiological modules needed to construct its advanced microreactors. No radioactive material is to be used or stored at the company’s new Alabama facility.
USNC says the Gadsden plant will be the nation’s first commercial-scale microreactor production facility. When operational, MAP will employ 250 professional and technical workers.
“Alabama is home to an impressive array of highly innovative companies, so our state is an ideal place for Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp.’s new advanced microreactor assembly plant,” Governor Kay Ivey said.
“This unique facility will benefit the Gadsden community through a significant investment and the creation of good jobs while also reinforcing Alabama’s reputation for cutting-edge manufacturing operations.”
USNC said the decision to locate in Gadsden resulted from a year-long search spanning 16 states and hundreds of potential sites. Primary factors evaluated included site suitability and infrastructure, skilled workforce availability, and overall project economics.
USNC and the State of Alabama formalized the deal through a project agreement executed by Governor Ivey and company Chief Nuclear Officer Dan Stout.
News of the agreement came during a keynote address today by USNC’s Chief Nuclear Officer, Dan Stout, at the 10th Advanced Reactors Summit and Technology Trailblazers Showcase.
“We appreciate the interest and support for this effort from the City of Gadsden, Etowah County, the Alabama Department of Commerce and so many others up to and including Governor Ivey and her talented team,” Stout said.
“We especially appreciate the guidance and efforts of April Gray at the Department of Commerce and David Hooks of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority in making this project a reality.”
USNC representatives note significant potential for expansion and export as demand for the MMR high-temperature gas reactor gains global interest and traction.
There is also high potential for USNC suppliers to establish a local presence, thereby creating even more growth and opportunity in and around Gadsden.
“USNC’s microreactors will be produced at the state-of-the-art facility in Gadsden and shipped as modules to sites around the world, allowing for the generation of reliable energy anywhere,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“This is safe and amazing technology, and I’m pleased that it will be ‘Made in Alabama.’”
The 578,000 square foot factory will feature state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing processes and equipment and will be capable of producing up to 10 complete MMR nuclear batteries per year.
“We are attracted to Gadsden by their skilled workforce and the outstanding training programs and support they are bringing to the table,” said Ted Coulter, plant director for the MMR factory at USNC.
“In Gadsden, I have confidence we can hire local talent and operate with both safety and efficiency. We are looking forward to becoming a member of the community.”
The MAP project establishes an advanced nuclear manufacturing hub in Gadsden and the surrounding region.
Construction is slated to begin in 2024, with the facility operational in 2027
“This is a game-changer for Gadsden,” Mayor Craig Ford said. “Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp.’s selection of Gadsden proves what I’ve known all my life about the unmatched grit and capability of our workforce.”