DOE Announces Publication of Environmental Impact Statement for Versatile Test Reactor

Jeff Brody

The Department of Energy has announced its intent to develop an environmental impact statement to evaluate the creation of a versatile reactor-based fast-neutron source in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. DOE said Monday it invites industry to send comments on the scope of the EIS until Sept. 4 and plans to hold two webcast scoping meetings to further discuss the project.

“Lack of a domestic reactor with versatile fast-neutron-spectrum testing capability is a significant national strategic risk affecting the ability of DOE to fulfill its mission to advance the energy, environmental and nuclear security of the United States and promote scientific and technological innovation,” said Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

The department considers building the new versatile test reactor at its national laboratory in Idaho or Tennessee and anticipates fabricating driver fuel at the Savanah River site or the Idaho National Laboratory. NEPA mandates DOE to complete construction and start the operations of the new facility by Dec. 31, 2025.

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