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DOE Seeks Industry Participation for Engineering Services to Design Next Generation Nuclear Plant

July 23, 2007 - 2:55pm


Gen IV Reactor Capable of Producing Process Heat, Electricity and/or Hydrogen

WASHINGTON, DC -The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is issuing a request for expressions of interest from prospective industry teams capable of providing engineering design services to the INL for the conceptual design phase of the Department's Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP).  The NGNP seeks to utilize cutting-edge technology in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling nuclear energy to replace fossil fuels in the petrochemical and transportation industries.  The high-temperature reactor is based on research and development activities supported by the Generation IV nuclear energy systems initiative at DOE's INL.  NGNP supports President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which advocates the increased use of nuclear energy, therefore increasing our nation's energy security.

"Proceeding with conceptual design for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant brings the Department of Energy another step closer to developing this advanced new technology," DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said. "Through this effort, DOE will foster a public-private partnership to complete this development and spur the commercial scale deployment of advanced clean and safe nuclear energy as quickly as possible."

Expressions of interest are due to the Idaho National Laboratory, the Department's lead laboratory for development of the NGNP, by August 20, 2007, and will be used to identify a qualified pool of candidates to provide future engineering and design services.  The specific scope of work will be developed as the contracts with the Idaho National Laboratory are negotiated.  This announcement builds on the pre-conceptual design activities for which $8 million was awarded in September 2006.  All pre-conceptual design contract deliverables were submitted in July of this year.

The NGNP proposes to build a high temperature reactor capable of producing hydrogen, electricity and/or process heat.  Once expressions of interest are received and evaluated, a request for proposals will be issued to develop the conceptual design, expected to begin in FY2008.  During this phase, the NGNP reactor's performance, safety and functional requirements will be defined in detail as well as estimated cost and schedule for its construction and operation.

This design will provide the basis for subsequent analyses and design details leading to the submittal of a NGNP license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The Department seeks to complete the design and construction of a prototype NGNP at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory by 2021.

Read more information concerning how to respond to the request for expressions of interest.  This request is not a formal solicitation requesting proposals and does not represent a commitment by the Idaho National Laboratory to award a contract.

Read additional information on DOE's nuclear energy programs.

Media contact(s):

Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940