Roadmap to Rebuild Modernize and Decarbonize the Ukraine Steel Industry

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Relevent Country: Ukraine

The Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (ISN/CTR) is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

ISN/CTR sponsors foreign assistance activities funded by the Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR) and other accounts, and focuses on mitigating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and WMD-related delivery systems proliferation and security threats from non-state actors and proliferator states. An underlying aim of all ISN/CTR’s efforts is long-term sustainability to maximize programmatic impact while minimizing the need for foreign partners to rely on outside financial or technical assistance.

ISN/CTR administers the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology Program (FIRST), announced by the White House at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021. FIRST provides technical capacity-building support to potential nuclear energy newcomer countries and current nuclear energy countries that are considering small modular reactors (SMRs) and other advanced reactor designs to meet their clean energy needs, consistent with the highest international standards of nuclear security, nonproliferation, and safety. FIRST is designed to enhance U.S. bilateral and multilateral cooperation, consistent with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) nuclear energy infrastructure development milestones approach, in nuclear energy infrastructure development, nuclear security, and capacity-building. In so doing, the program supports secure, safe, and proliferation-resistant deployment of SMRs or other advanced reactors to partner countries.

As part of the FIRST program under the Nuclear Expediting the Energy Transition (NEXT) subprogram, ISN/CTR seeks implementing partners for a special project to develop a Roadmap to Rebuild, Modernize, and Decarbonize the Ukraine Steel Industry with SMRs. The implementer(s) for this project will work closely with Ukrainian stakeholders from government, the civil nuclear sector, and the steel industry to jointly conduct a study and develop a detailed roadmap with input and buy-in from Ukrainian stakeholders to rebuild, modernize, and decarbonize Ukraine’s steel industry with SMRs.

Projects funded under this NOFO will implement the following lines of effort:

  • Develop a Roadmap to Rebuild, Modernize, and Decarbonize the Ukraine Steel Industry with SMRs that will include engagements with Ukrainian stakeholders and U.S. experts to conduct a joint study and develop a roadmap for nuclear energy-based decarbonized steelmaking in Ukraine.
  • Other innovative cooperative programming to address the nonproliferation and nuclear energy security missions described.
  • Program Objectives
  • ISN/CTR sponsors foreign assistance activities funded by the Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR) account and supplemental funding sources, and focuses on mitigating proliferation and security risks from state and non-state actors.

FIRST Program Goals Supported by this NOFO:

Support the Rebuilding, Modernization, and Decarbonization of Ukraine’s Steel Industry with Secure, Safe, and Proliferation Resistant Small Modular Reactors. This project will support Ukraine’s territorial independence, sovereignty, economic recovery, and energy security by advancing Ukraine’s ability to utilize secure and safe SMRs to provide clean electricity and process heat for clean steel manufacturing. This project will also deepen technical cooperation between Ukrainian and U.S. civil nuclear sectors. In addition, this project will accelerate the integration of SMRs now coming to market into global nuclear nonproliferation and security regimes. Funded activities under this line of effort will emphasize engagements (virtual or in person) by Ukrainian stakeholders with U.S. nuclear, energy, and steel experts and industrial partners; joint U.S.-Ukrainian development of a roadmap for secure and safe nuclear energy-based decarbonized steelmaking in Ukraine; implementation of a joint study by U.S. and Ukrainian partners to document the roadmap and path forward; and other innovative programming to achieve the stated objective. This line of effort is exclusively focused on Ukraine.

Funding Information

  • Length of performance period: Twelve (12) Months
  • Number of awards anticipated: 4-10 awards (dependent on amounts)
  • Number of award applications: 20
  • Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $5,000,000
  • Total available funding: $5,000,000
  • Anticipated projects start date: October 1, 2024
  • Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should typically be completed in 12-15 months, but may be considered for no-cost extension when appropriate, such as to accommodate the challenging operational environment in Ukraine.
  • Priority Regions
  • For the clean steel from SMR technology roadmap project, the only country of focus is Ukraine.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Applicants

  • The following organizations are eligible to apply:
  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Public and private educational institutions
  • Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs)
  • For-profit organizations Public International Organizations and
  • Governmental institutions
  • Cost Sharing or Matching
  • Cost sharing is not required and will play no role in when the project is being evaluated.