WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) today announced the finalization of an action plan with the United Kingdom (UK) to ensure nuclear energy’s contribution to both countries’ strategic energy resources, low carbon emissions targets, nonproliferation goals, and nuclear energy safety objectives. DOE and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) signed the Civil Nuclear Energy Research and Development (R&D) Action Plan today in Washington, D.C.

The action plan seeks to facilitate cooperation in R&D for advanced civilian nuclear energy technologies between the two countries. Both recognize a variety of approaches and technical pathways are needed to achieve optimal development of civil nuclear technologies over the long term.

“Agreement of the U.S. and UK action plan allows us to move forward and focus on a number of key advances in nuclear energy, including reactors and fuels,” said Ed McGinnis, NE principal deputy assistant secretary. “Both countries recognize the value of bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy innovation.”

The action plan calls for working groups focused on the following areas:

  • Radioisotopes for use in space technologies,
  • Nuclear reactor technologies,
  • Advanced fuels,
  • Fuel cycle technologies,
  • Advanced modeling and simulation, and
  • Enabling technologies.

This action plan will complement, not replace, existing mechanisms of cooperation and build on the current collaboration between the U.S. and UK in the university, laboratory, and industry sectors.

In addition to the action plan with the U.S. and the UK, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory have agreed to cooperate on a wide range of nuclear energy research and development efforts that leverage both organizations’ unique expertise and capabilities. Under a memorandum of understanding, NNL and ORNL will collaborate on nuclear-related projects through idea sharing, staff exchanges, and joint workshops.