Transformational Challenge Reactor

Demonstrating a faster, more affordable approach to advanced nuclear energy

A Path Forward for Nuclear


The Transformational Challenge Reactor will demonstrate a revolutionary approach to deploying new nuclear power systems. By building and operating an additively manufactured microreactor, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory program will explore 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.

analytics via supercomputing

Data Analytics

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

reactor model

Modeling and Simulation

The ORNL-based CASL is a collaboration of the nation’s leading scientists, institutions, and supercomputers, with a mission to predict the performance of nuclear reactors through modeling and simulation.

nuclear history

Nuclear Energy

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