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The U.S. Department of Energy is building a one-of-a-kind scientific user facility to accelerate the development of new nuclear fuels, materials, instrumentation and sensors for current and future reactors.
Video courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will hold two webcast public hearings to present information and accept comments on the Draft Versatile Test Reactor Environmental Impact Statement (VTR EIS). DOE is hosting internet-based public hearings in place of in-person hearings due to ongoing public health concerns. The proposed VTR would be a sodium-cooled, fast-neutron-spectrum test reactor that will enhance and accelerate research, development, and demonstration of innovative nuclear energy technologies. The Draft VTR EIS, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), analyzes potential impacts of the VTR alternatives and options for reactor fuel production. The Draft VTR EIS evaluates: (1) Construction and operation of the VTR at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) or the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This includes operating and performing experiments in the VTR, post-irradiation examination of irradiated test specimens in hot cell facilities, and spent fuel conditioning and storage pending offsite shipment; (2) Production of fuel for the VTR at INL and/or the Savannah River Site, including preparing feedstock for the fuel, fabricating fuel pins, and assembling the fuel pins into reactor fuel; and (3) A no-action alternative under which DOE would not pursue the construction and operation of a VTR.

Interested parties are invited to join either or both of the webcasts listed below. The webcasts will begin with an overview of the VTR and a presentation on the NEPA process and the Draft VTR EIS. Following the presentations, participants can provide oral comments on the Draft VTR EIS. Commenters will be allowed 3 minutes each.  After all participants have had a chance to speak, a second 3-minute time allotment will be allowed, time permitting.  The hearing will conclude after 2.5 hours or until there are no additional commenters, whichever occurs first.

Comments will be recorded and transcribed into the Final VTR EIS. You may pre-register to comment by sending an email to

Join a meeting by clicking on one or both of the options below. Alternatively, you can listen to either or both meetings by calling the participant phone number. In order to comment during the webcast, participants must call in on the participant phone line.

Webcast Meeting Times

Draft VTR EIS public hearing notice - January 27
Draft Versatile Test Reactor EIS public hearing notice - January 28

Participant phone number:  877-407-9221

Comments can also be submitted through the end of the public comment period, February 16, 2021, by email at; by U.S mail to James Lovejoy, U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Avenue, MS 1235, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415; or by phone at (208) 526-6805. Additional information about the project is available at: /ne/VTR.