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US DOE launches $230M Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) within the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). ARDP is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.

For the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Congress appropriated $230 million to start a new demonstration program for advanced reactors. Through cost-shared partnerships with industry, ARDP will provide $160 million for initial funding to build two reactors that can be operational within the next 5 to 7 years.

In addition to the two reactors, ARDP will leverage the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) to efficiently test and assess ARD technologies by engaging the world-renowned capabilities of the national laboratory system to move these reactors from blueprints to reality.

The primary implementing tool for ARDP is the ARD Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0002271), which provides applicants three separate technology development and demonstration pathways:

  1. Advanced Reactor Demonstrations (Demos). This pathway provides funding for two awards to build and achieve initial operations of demos in the US. For the purposes of this FOA, a demonstration is defined as an advanced reactor operated as part of the power generation facilities of an electric utility system or in any other manner for the purpose of demonstrating the suitability for commercial application of the advanced nuclear reactor.

  2. Risk Reduction for Future Demonstrations (Risk Reduction). This pathway provides funding for between two and five awards for a diverse set of advanced nuclear reactors to address technical risks challenging the development of these reactor designs to get them ready for future demonstration.

  3. Advanced ReactorConcepts–20(ARC-20). This pathway provides funding for up to two awards to support advanced reactor concepts for further development in the areas of safety, operations, and economics with the potential of being demonstrated in the 2035 timeframe.


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