Department of Energy Launches Innovation Center for National Reactor Technology

Aug 22, 2019

by ASME.org

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the launch of its new National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC), located within the Idaho National Laboratory. The center was developed to provide a space where industry can develop new reactor processes and technologies, and was authorized by the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act.

“NRIC will enable the demonstration and deployment of advanced reactors that will define the future of nuclear energy,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “By bringing industry together with our national labs and university partners, we can enhance our energy independence and position the U.S. as a global leader in advanced nuclear innovation.”

NRIC is similar in structure to the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN), which was established to connect industry with the national labs in efforts to accelerate the development and commercialization of advanced nuclear technologies. NRIC looks to follow a similar approach, by providing technology developers from the private sector with a space to test their reactor concepts and review how they perform. The goal of this is to help expedite the licensing and commercialization of these new nuclear energy systems.

Under the FY20 budget, the House Energy and Water Development committee has allocated $5 million to the NRIC. This will help the center with its plans to demonstrate a small modular reactor and micro-reactor concepts within the next five years.

For further information about the NRIC, click here: https://www.energy.gov/ne/downloads/national-reactor-innovation-center-fact-sheet