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graphic of a sodium cooled fast reactor

In February 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy announced its plans to build a Versatile Test Reactor, or VTR. This new research reactor will be capable of performing irradiation testing at much higher neutron energy fluxes than what is currently available today.

This capability will help accelerate the testing of advanced nuclear fuels, materials, instrumentation, and sensors. It will also allow DOE to modernize its essential nuclear energy research and development infrastructure, and conduct crucial advanced technology and materials testing necessary to re-energize the U.S. nuclear energy industry.

The project is being led by Idaho National Laboratory in partnership with five national laboratories (Argonne, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Savannah River) and includes a host of industry and university partners.

VTR could be completed as early as 2026 at the site of one of DOE's national laboratories. 

Environmental Impact Statement

DOE is developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to ensure that all environmental factors are considered before making a final decision to move forward with the project. A Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS for VTR was published on the Federal Register on August 5, 2019. If you would like your name added to the mailing list or request copies of the EIS when it is published, please send an email or letter to the following address: 

  • Email VTR.EIS@nuclear.energy.gov
  • Send mail to:
    Mr. James Lovejoy
    Document Manager
    U.S. Department of Energy
    Idaho Operations Office
    1955 Fremont Avenue, MS 1235
    Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415

Related News

Battelle Energy Alliance has initiated negotiations with a Bechtel National Inc. led team to support the design and build of Versatile Test Reactor.
U.S. Department of Energy to explore potential industry partnerships to build Versatile Test Reactor.
The Department Of Energy announces an Environmental Impact Statement to examine building a Versatile Test Reactor in the United States.
This fast neutron testing capability will help the United States meet its goal for advanced nuclear reactor technology development.
Having a fast test reactor will drastically speed up the time it takes to test, develop and qualify advanced reactor technologies.
$1.7 million of funding awarded to universities to develop instrumentation and tools for a proposed research reactor
GE Hitachi awarded subcontract for work supporting proposed versatile test reactor
$3.9 million in funding awarded for 13 university-led projects in support of proposed research reactor.

Multimedia

FACT SHEET: Versatile Test Reactor Capabilities
Fact sheet on Versatile Test Reactor capabilities
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Infographic: Versatile Test Reactor - By the Numbers
Snapshot of the U.S. Department of Energy's proposed Versatile Test Reactor
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Versatile Test Reactor Fact Sheet
Fact sheet on the proposed Versatile Test Reactor.
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Webcast: VTR Project Mission Need/NEPA
Provides an overview of the National Environmental Policy ACT and Environmental Impact Statement process.
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The Difference Between Power and Test Reactors
Explains the differences between nuclear reactors used for the production of electricity and reactors used for scientific and engineering studies.
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Versatile Test Reactor and Investing in the Future of Nuclear Energy
Outlines the role that a fast neutron spectrum test reactor will provide in the development of advanced nuclear energy technologies.
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Virtual Tour of a Versatile Test Reactor
Provides a 3-D compilation of engineering drawings from the conceptual design under consideration for a Versatile Test Reactor.
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