On April 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) announced it is soliciting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from industry stakeholders and technical experts on innovative uses of nuclear energy. The EOI should be for a multi-phase demonstration program in partnership with the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) and the Crosscutting Technology Development Integrated Energy Systems (CTD IES) program in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. This prospective effort demonstrates a public-private sector opportunity to advance carbon-free initiatives through nuclear innovation.
INL stated the potential demonstration program should begin in 2021 with a four-phased approach:
- They outline that the program should begin with a “pre-phase” designated for planning and analysis.
- Following the pre-phase, Phase 1 would utilize existing test bed capabilities to emulate integration of a nuclear reactor with thermal energy storage or high-temperature electrolysis for hydrogen production.
- Next, Phase 2 would leverage a microreactor test bed, currently under development, to demonstrate integrated energy use concepts on a small scale.
- And finally, Phase 3 set to integrate innovative systems with advanced nuclear reactors being planned for larger sites over the next several years.
While funding sources for this program have not been identified, the responses to the EOI will inform future planning for the NRIC and CTD IES program.
INL invites industry to provide expertise and inputs on technical requirements for this multi-phase demonstration program, or stakeholder level of interest in participating in this program by supporting equipment or processes during any of the phases.
Responses are due by May 21, 2021 05:00 p.m. MDT.