Transformational Challenge Reactor Program

Delivering a faster, more affordable approach to advance nuclear energy

A Path Forward for Nuclear

The Transformational Challenge Reactor Program is bringing to bear additive manufacturing (AM) and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver enabling technologies for advanced reactors. Through the application of these advanced technologies the program targets delivering solutions to the high costs and lengthy deployment timelines that threaten the future of nuclear energy—the country’s largest source of carbon-free energy.


The Science Behind TCR


ORNL is home to the nation’s most comprehensive materials research program and is a world leader in research that supports the development of advanced materials for energy generation, storage, and use.

Advanced Manufacturing

ORNL is leading the advanced manufacturing renaissance by working with industry, academia, and other agencies to create a digital factory that bridges the gap between systems and software.

Data Analytics

ORNL is developing new characterization technologies through data analytics that are capable of rapidly extracting information from materials.

Modeling and Simulation

ORNL leverages its world class computing facilities including the Summit supercomputer to solve complex multiphysics problems related to advanced nuclear energy systems.

nuclear history

Nuclear Energy

ORNL built and operated the world’s first permanent nuclear reactor, and the lab’s impact on nuclear has continued for more than 75 years.

TCR Technology Thrusts


Design informed by artificial intelligence


Advanced materials derived from additive manufacturing


Integrated sensing and control towards autonomous operation


Digital platform for quality certification of critical components