INL seeks input on construction technologies

April 27, 2020, 11:54AMNuclear News

Battelle Energy Alliance, the managing and operating contractor for Idaho National Laboratory, is seeking an expression of interest (EOI) from industry stakeholders interested in forming a partnership to develop and/or demonstrate advanced construction technologies and processes. The effort would be executed as an initiative of the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) at INL. Battelle announced the EOI on April 17, with a deadline for responses of May 16.

The objective:“Construction costs and schedule risks are predominant factors driving up the costs of new nuclear energy systems,” said Ashley Finan, NRIC director. “The NRIC advanced construction technologies initiative will support a transformation in nuclear energy construction and deployment costs and scalability, enabling nuclear energy to make important contributions to the energy system of the future.”

NRIC is looking for advanced construction technologies and processes that would substantially reduce the cost and schedule risk of new nuclear plant construction and improve the long-term economics of nuclear deployment on a global scale. NRIC was established by the Department of Energy in 2019, with the goal of demonstrating an advanced reactor by the end of 2025. INL is leading NRIC in coordination with other national laboratories.

Next steps: Responses to the EOI should include the projected cost-reduction impact of the proposed technologies and the range of applications that could benefit from their use. Interested stakeholders with the necessary capabilities may be considered for a request for proposals to form a partnership to develop and/or demonstrate advanced construction technologies under a cost-sharing arrangement.

The DOE intends to issue a funding opportunity announcement for cost-shared awards under the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (NN, Mar. 2020, p. 14). Separate projects are in the works to demonstrate Oklo’s fast spectrum microreactor at INL (NN, Apr. 2020, p. 9) and to advance mobile microreactor engineering work under the Defense Department’s Project Pele (NN, Apr. 2020, p. 13).

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