The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Final Versatile Test Reactor Environmental Impact Statement (Final VTR EIS) (DOE/EIS-0542). The proposed VTR will be a sodium-cooled, fast-neutron-spectrum test reactor that will enhance and accelerate research, development, and demonstration of innovative nuclear energy technologies.

The Final VTR EIS, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, analyzes potential impacts of the VTR alternatives and options for reactor fuel production on various environmental and community resources. The Final VTR EIS evaluates:

  • Construction and operation of the VTR at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This includes operating and performing experiments in the VTR, post-irradiation examination of test specimens in hot cell facilities, and conditioning and storing spent nuclear fuel pending shipment for interim storage or permanent disposal.
  • Production of fuel for the VTR at the Idaho National Laboratory and/or the Savannah River Site (SRS), including preparing feedstock for the fuel, fabricating fuel pins, and assembling the fuel pins into reactor fuel.
  • A no-action alternative under which DOE would not pursue the construction and operation of a VTR.

The Final VTR EIS identifies the construction and operation of the VTR at the INL Site as DOE's Preferred Alternative. To the extent possible, existing facilities (modified as necessary) would be used for the VTR support facilities.  DOE has not identified a preferred option for where it would perform reactor fuel production.  For alternatives (or options) for which DOE did not identify a preferred alternative (or option) in the Final VTR EIS, a preferred alternative (or option) will be announced in a future notice.