US awards $20m for advanced nuclear reactor concepts

The latest programme aims to assist the progression of advanced reactor designs in their earliest phases

The US Government has announced $20 million (£14.8m) in awards for advanced reactor concepts for nuclear power stations.

The funding is being provided under the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Programme (ARDP), which has been designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the US.

The Office of Nuclear Energy has selected three teams to receive the funding for the ARDP’s Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) programme, which aims to assist the progression of advanced reactor designs in their earliest phases.

They include novel advanced reactor designs by General Atomics, ARC Nuclear and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the funding helping them mature their concepts for demonstration by the mid-2030s.

They intend to develop a fast modular reactor conceptual design with verifications of key metrics in fuel, safety and operational performance and a conceptual design of a seismically isolated advanced sodium-cooled reactor facility that builds upon the initial design of a 100MW reactor facility.

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said: “ARDP is significant because it will enable a market for commercial reactors that are safe and affordable to both construct and operate in the near and mid-term.

“All three programmes under ARDP pave the way for the United States to be highly competitive globally.”

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