The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Versatile Test Reactor Environmental Impact Statement (Final VTR EIS) (DOE/EIS-0542). DOE has decided to construct and operate the VTR at Idaho National Laboratory as its preferred alternative and to establish, through modification and construction, co-located facilities for post-irradiation examination of test products and for management of spent VTR driver fuel.

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

  • Construction and operation of the VTR at the INL site 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 INL site 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.

DOE has not decided whether to establish VTR driver fuel production capabilities for feedstock preparation and fuel fabrication at the INL site, SRS, or a combination of the two sites. Once a preferred option for VTR driver fuel production is identified, DOE will announce its preference in a Federal Register notice. DOE would then publish a ROD no sooner than 30 days after its announcement of a preferred option for VTR driver fuel production.

In preparing the Final EIS, DOE considered and responded to comments received during the Draft EIS comment period, giving equal consideration to written comments and oral comments. During the Draft EIS comment period, DOE conducted two online public hearings on January 27 and 28, 2021.

VTR Record of Decision

VTR Record of Decision

VTR ROD Federal Register Link

Final VTR Environmental Impact Statement

Volume 1 - Chapters
Volume 2 - Appendices
Volume 3 - Comment Response Document

VTR EIS References