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Versatile Test Reactor mock up

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.

Read the full Draft VTR EIS released by the U.S. Department of Energy.
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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
  • 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

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. 

DRAFT VTR EIS Webcast Videos

Related News

The public comment period for the draft Versatile Test Reactor Environmental Impact Statement extends through March 2, 2021.
Public hearings will be held online January 27, 2021 and January 28, 2021.
Versatile Test Reactor project moves to engineering design phase with Critical Decision 1 approval.
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.


Versatile Test Reactor Virtual Open House
Provides an overview of the Versatile Test Reactor Environmental Impact Statement.
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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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