Summary

This Versatile Test Reactor Draft Environmental Impact Statement (VTR EIS; DOE/EIS-0542) evaluates the potential environmental impacts of proposed alternatives for the construction and operation of a new test reactor, as well as associated facilities that are needed for performing post-irradiation evaluation of test articles and managing spent nuclear fuel (SNF). In accordance with the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017 (NEICA) (Pub. L. 115–248), DOE assessed the mission need for a versatile, reactor-based, fast-neutron source to serve as a national user facility. DOE determined that there is a need for a fast-neutron spectrum VTR to enable testing and evaluating nuclear fuels, materials, sensors, and instrumentation for use in advanced reactors and other purposes. In accordance with NEICA, DOE is pursuing construction and operation of the 300 megawatt (thermal) VTR. The reactor would be a pool-type, sodium-cooled reactor that uses a uranium-plutonium-zirconium metal fuel. The analysis also includes the potential impacts from post-irradiation examination of test articles, management of spent fuel, and activities necessary for VTR driver fuel production.

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