Three companies selected to design test reactor experiments at Idaho National Laboratory
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC), today awarded $3.9 million to three advanced nuclear energy developers to design experiments to test microreactor designs in the Demonstration of Microreactor Experiments (DOME) test bed at Idaho National Laboratory.
Radiant, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, and Westinghouse will further their microreactor designs through a front-end engineering and experiment design (FEEED) process. The FEEED process supports developers in planning for the design, fabrication, construction, and testing of fueled reactor experiments.
“The FEEED process will bring three microreactor designs—Kaleidos, Pylon, and eVinci—one step closer to reality” said Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Kathryn Huff. “These technologies will give choices to diverse communities looking to transition to a clean energy future.”
Microreactors are compact nuclear reactors typically capable of producing 1 to 20 megawatts of thermal energy that could be used directly as heat or converted to electric power. They are the right size to power independent microgrids, restore power in emergency situations, or supply remote communities that currently rely on diesel generators.
DOME is a new test bed intended to speed up microreactor development. DOME will repurpose the Experimental-Breeder Reactor-II containment structure, lessening the environmental footprint, saving companies money in the testing process, and reducing overall project risk.
Testing in DOME could start as early as 2026. DOE is also developing the Laboratory for Operation and Testing in the U.S. (LOTUS) test bed, which will host smaller reactor experiments to support the development of advanced reactors.
NRIC is developing the DOME and LOTUS test beds. NRIC developed the FEEED process to help industry partners progress more quickly toward first-of-a-kind testing of advanced reactors. Learn more about NRIC at nric.inl.gov.