U.S. Department of Energy Launches $230 Million Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) within the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). ARDP is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.
For the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Congress appropriated $230 million to start a new demonstration program for advanced reactors. Through cost-shared partnerships with industry, ARDP will provide $160 million for initial funding to build two reactors that can be operational within the next 5 to 7 years.
“The next generation of nuclear energy is critical to our Nation’s energy security and environmental stewardship,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “As the recently released Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership exemplifies, we must pursue technological innovation and advanced nuclear RD&D investments to strengthen American leadership in the next generation of nuclear technologies, ensuring a healthy and growing U.S. nuclear energy sector.”
“Advanced nuclear energy systems hold enormous potential to lower emissions, create new jobs, and build a strong economy,” said Dr. Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. “This new program creates a tremendous opportunity for the U.S. to provide clean energy and expand our market opportunities.”
In addition to the two reactors, ARDP will leverage the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) to efficiently test and assess ARD technologies by engaging the world-renowned capabilities of the national laboratory system to move these reactors from blueprints to reality.
The primary implementing tool for ARDP is the ARD Funding Opportunity Announcement, issued today, which provides applicants three separate technology development and demonstration pathways.
Mark Peters quote: “The U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory system was created to solve national challenges,” said INL Lab Director Mark Peters. “Today’s announcement by U.S. DOE will accelerate innovation in advanced nuclear energy systems by leveraging the tremendous capabilities and expertise at INL and our partner national laboratories.”
John Wagner quote: “Today is a great day for all of us who care deeply about our clean energy future and American leadership in nuclear energy,” said John Wagner, Ph.D., INL associate laboratory director for Nuclear Science and Technology. “For more than 70 years, INL has played a critically important leadership role in the development, demonstration and deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems. We welcome today’s announcement and stand ready to continue this role with partners in the reactor innovation community.”
Ashley Finan quote: “Today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy is essential to ushering in the next generation of advanced nuclear energy systems,” said Ashley Finan, Ph.D., director of the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC). “NRIC is ready to work with innovators to enable nuclear energy demonstrations, validate advanced reactor concepts and resolve technical challenges.”
The National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) enables advanced reactor demonstration and deployment by preparing infrastructure and providing access to National Laboratory sites, facilities, materials, and expertise. More information is available at nric.inl.gov. NRIC has prepared a standard memorandum of understanding (MOU) for use with innovators seeking to work with NRIC. For a copy of the MOU or for more information on how to work with NRIC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Authorized by the U.S. Congress in 2018 and established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2019, NRIC is led by INL in coordination with other national laboratories.