Oklo Submits the First Combined License Application for an Advanced Fission Plant
Although researchers at national laboratories have traditionally thought in terms of getting "awards" to fund their projects, a U.S. Department of Energy program is taking a new approach to keeping the nuclear energy research and development fires stoked.
Since 2016, the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) has been providing vouchers to help companies engaged in nuclear research, streamlining commercialization efforts by offering the resources of DOE's national labs for much less than what they would typically cost.
"In an ideal case, a young startup company has run into an issue that it doesn't have the resources to solve," said John Jackson, GAIN's technical interface. "We view ourselves as a high-end technical service to benefit the United States."
Of the 49 vouchers that have been issued since 2016, work has been done for small companies such as Oklo, of Sunnyvale, California, and Creare, of Hanover, New Hampshire. Yet giants such as Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi have also benefited from GAIN vouchers. READ MORE
The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that two nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the second round of awards in FY 2020. READ MORE
Micro-reactors are very small nuclear reactors capable of operating independently from the electric grid to supply highly resilient power, and are well suited to serve the power needs for remote communities that currently do not have access to reliable, resilient and affordable energy. A typical commercial microreactor is envisioned to be a mobile nuclear power plant in a 2-20 MWe range that is fully factory built, fueled and assembled. It is transportable to the remote site via ground, sea or air with black start, renewable integration and island mode operation capability. They are designed to be self-regulating and walk-away safe with minimal operator intervention. NEI estimates that Microreactors could deliver electricity at rates between $0.09/kWh and $0.33/kWh. This presentation will describe 'genericized' microreactor designs being pursued by various vendors, technology gaps and the role of DOE's Microreactor R&D. READ MORE
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is authorized by the FY2020 Congressional appropriations to initiate an advanced reactor demonstration program. DOE has issued a Request for Information/Notice of Intent (RFI/NOI) on the government-wide point of entry (beta.SAM.gov) as part of its market research for this program. The RFI/NOI notifies interested parties of DOE’s intended strategies to implement this program, as well as solicits input regarding these strategies from interested parties, including advanced reactor developers. The RFI/NOI gives interested parties the opportunity to provide DOE with their insights on how the demonstration program could be successfully executed. DOE intends to use the information submitted in response to the RFI/NOI to inform its procurement approach.
Please see the RFI/NOI by clicking HERE.