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
The public is now encouraged to comment on the Draft VTR Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze all potential impacts of the VTR alternatives and options for reactor fuel production on various environmental and community resources. The public comment period will conclude on March 2, 2021. A copy of the Draft VTR EIS can be downloaded HERE or below.
Written comments on the Draft VTR EIS can be submitted through the end of public comment period on March 2, 2021 and should be sent to Mr. James Lovejoy, Document Manager:
- Email VTR.EIS@nuclear.energy.gov
- Send mail to:
Mr. James Lovejoy
U.S. Department of Energy
Idaho Operations Office
1955 Fremont Avenue, MS 1235
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415
In preparing the Final EIS, DOE will consider and respond to comments received during the Draft EIS comment period, giving equal consideration to both written and oral comments. Two online public hearings on the Draft VTR EIS were held on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 and Thursday, January 28, 2021.