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DOE Seeks Additional Input on Next Generation Nuclear Plant

April 17, 2008 - 10:49am


WASHINGTON, DC -The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it is seeking public and industry input on how to best achieve the goals and meet the requirements for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) demonstration project work at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory.  DOE today issued a Request for Information and Expressions of Interest from prospective participants and interested parties on utilizing cutting-edge high temperature gas reactor technology in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling nuclear energy to replace fossil fuels used by industry for process heat. 

"This is an opportunity to advance the development of safe, reliable, and zero-emission nuclear energy in the U.S.," DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said. "Through this effort, DOE will foster a public-private partnership to complete this development and accelerate the commercial deployment of advanced clean, safe nuclear energy."

Today's announcement will help to finalize ongoing conceptual design activities for the NGNP, and the requested input will further define the reactor's performance, safety and functional requirements, as well as the estimated cost and schedule for its construction and operation.  Specifically, DOE is soliciting comments on the strategy to proceed with technology research and development of the NGNP; the design, construction, licensing and operation of the plant; and the structure, management, and funding of the public-private cost-share agreements that are necessary to proceed with the project. 

Once expressions of interest are received and evaluated, DOE will use the responses to develop a final strategy for partnering with industry to deploy the NGNP project.  Comments from the public and expressions of interest from potential participants are due to DOE by June 10, 2008.

DOE anticipates noticing its final strategy this fall, provided there is sufficient industry interest, and seeks to complete the design and construction of a prototype NGNP plant by 2021.

Subtitle C of Title VI of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the NGNP and it calls for, among other things, cost-shared research, development design, and construction activities for the Project which is to consist of a high temperature demonstration reactor capable of producing hydrogen, electricity and/or process heat at the Idaho National Laboratory.  The NGNP project is a part of DOE's Generation IV nuclear program, which focuses on very high-temperature reactor technologies to produce hydrogen and other energy products, and furthers research and development to ensure the viability of the next-generation of nuclear energy systems.  This program supports President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which advocates the increased use of nuclear energy in order to increase our nation's energy security.

For more information concerning how to respond to the Request for Information and Expressions of Interest.

Learn additional information on DOE's nuclear energy programs.

Media contact(s):

Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940