Department of Energy

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte-based Babcock and Wilcox received a big boost when the Energy Department agreed to be a partner in the company’s development of a new, small nuclear reactor. But the project has since hit some roadblocks.

UNC Charlotte Places 13th At Solar Decathlon

Oct 14, 2013
Carol Anna/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

UNC Charlotte's solar house, UrbanEden, placed 13 out of 19th in the 2013 Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif., that ended this past weekend, but the team went home with the People's Choice Award.

Team Austria won first place in the competition, the University of Nevada Las Vegas won second and the Czech Republic won third. 

Ben Bradford/WFAE

The U.S. government and the nuclear industry are betting on new, much smaller nuclear reactors that can be mass produced in factories, and shipped around the world. 

"We are trying to jumpstart a new U.S. industry," says Assistant Secretary of Energy Pete Lyons. "That’s my goal: A U.S. industry, U.S. jobs, clean energy."

Last month the Department of Energy partnered with Charlotte-based nuclear company Babcock & Wilcox to finish development, in a deal that could total over $400 million. But critics worry that the model for the new reactor is flawed at its core.