The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million in awards for the third of three programs under its new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP). DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) has selected three teams to receive FY20 funding for the ARDP’s Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) program. ARDP is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.
DOE issued an ARDP funding opportunity announcement in May 2020 which included the ARC-20 awards, the Advanced Reactor Demonstration awards, and the Risk Reduction for Future Demonstration awards. For the ARC-20 projects, DOE expects to invest a total of approximately $56 million over four years with our industry partners providing at least 20 percent in matching funds.
Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) Projects
The goal of the ARC-20 program is to assist the progression of advanced reactor designs in their earliest phases. DOE has selected three U.S.-based teams to receive ARC-20 funding:
Inherently Safe Advanced SMR for American Nuclear Leadership – Advanced Reactor Concepts, LLC (Herndon, VA) will deliver a conceptual design of a seismically isolated advanced sodium-cooled reactor facility that builds upon the initial pre-conceptual design of a 100 MWe reactor facility. Total award value over three and a half years: $34.4 million (DOE share is $27.5 million)
Fast Modular Reactor Conceptual Design – General Atomics (San Diego, CA) will develop a fast modular reactor conceptual design with verifications of key metrics in fuel, safety, and operational performance. The design will be for a 50-megawatt electric (MWe) fast modular reactor (FMR). Total award value over three years: $31.1 million (DOE share is $24.8 million)
Horizontal Compact High Temperature Gas Reactor – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Cambridge, MA) will mature the Modular Integrated Gas-Cooled High Temperature Reactor (MIGHTR) concept from a pre-conceptual stage to a conceptual stage to support commercialization. Total award value over three years: $4.9 million (DOE cost share is $3.9 million)
“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.” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “All three programs under ARDP pave the way for the United States to be highly competitive globally.”
Risk Reduction for Future Demonstration Projects
On December 16, 2020, DOE announced the selections of five teams to receive $30 million in initial funding under ARDP’s Risk Reduction for Future Demonstration program.
Advanced Reactor Demonstration Projects
In October 2020, DOE announced the selections of TerraPower LLC (Bellevue, WA) and X-energy (Rockville, MD) to receive $160 million in initial funding for ARDP Demonstration projects to build two advanced nuclear reactors that can be operational within seven years.
Funding for ARDP beyond the near-term is contingent on additional future appropriations, evaluations of satisfactory progress, and DOE approval of continuation applications.