At INL’s HTSE testing facility, researchers are advancing hydrogen production by shepherding HTSE through a series of technological advancements, economic analyses, and testing. (Photo: INL)
On December 20, 1951, researchers used energy produced by Experimental Breeder Reactor-I near Arco, Idaho, to illuminate four 200-watt lightbulbs. Since then, utilities have built commercial nuclear power plants in the United States almost exclusively to generate electricity. This has worked well alongside other power generation and transmission infrastructure—large oil- and coal-fired, natural gas turbine or hydroelectric plants, and a relatively simple electrical grid designed to deliver reliable power.
Humanity is now embarking on an epic and complex energy transformation across the grid, industry, and transportation. Renewables like wind and solar are contributing an increasing share of carbon-free electricity to the grid, but that contribution is variable and hard to predict—sometimes those sources produce more electricity than the grid needs, and sometimes less.
The MARVEL reactor concept with Stirling engines. (Image: DOE)
The demonstration program aims to accelerate innovation and deployment of energy concepts at the intersection of industry needs, NRIC’s mission, and the R&D portfolio of CTD IES. (Graphic: BEA)
The National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) wants to hear from developers and end users interested in integrated energy systems for advanced reactors. Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), the managing and operating contractor for Idaho National Laboratory, has issued a call for Expressions of Interest for a potential multi-phase demonstration program for innovative uses of nuclear energy, to be carried out by NRIC and the Crosscutting Technology Development Integrated Energy Systems (CTD IES) program. The final date for responses is May 21.
An image from a video released by INL shows MARVEL, to be installed in a concrete pit within the TREAT reactor building. Source: INL