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Advanced Reactor Concepts Technical Review Panel Report

This report documents the establishment of a technical review process and the findings of the Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) Technical Review Panel (TRP).1 The intent of the process is to identify R&D needs for viable advanced reactor concepts in order to inform DOE-NE R&D investment decisions. A goal of the process is to facilitate greater engagement between DOE and industry. The process involved establishing evaluation criteria, conducting a pilot review, soliciting concept inputs from industry entities, reviewing the concepts by TRP members and compiling the results.

The eight concepts received from industry spanned a range of reactor types and coolant selections. The concepts included five fast reactors and three thermal reactors. As to reactor coolants, there were three sodium-cooled reactors, two gas-cooled reactors, one light water-cooled reactor, one lead-bismuth-cooled reactor and one salt-cooled reactor. Four reactors use uranium oxide or uranium metal fuel, one proposes use of uranium nitride fuel and three would use thorium fuel. The concepts also varied considerably in level of design maturity. Five of the concepts have power levels less than 300 MWe.

The objective of the TRP process was to evaluate the viability of the concepts, gain an understanding of their R&D needs and prioritize research that supports the commercialization of those concepts. The report identifies concept specific needs and needs of multiple concepts. The report then identifies priorities for advanced reactor R&D activities.

The overall outcome of the TRP process is a listing of R&D needs and priorities that would be beneficial to industry and DOE. This information will be used to inform Office of Nuclear Energy reactor technology funding decisions.

Interaction through this process can lead to an R&D program that has greater insight into industry, university, and national laboratory perspectives and potential opportunities for collaborative R&D projects.