Science and Approach

The Science

ORNL will tap world-leading experts and facilities from the national laboratories and industry to deploy this groundbreaking nuclear reactor.

Modeling and Simulation

By capitalizing on the use of high-fidelity modeling and simulation techniques to predict reactor performance, TCR will accelerate nuclear innovation.

Advanced Manufacturing

DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL is a catalyst for introducing new manufacturing technologies that lower costs and provide greater efficiency. This world-leading science will now bring those benefits to nuclear industry through the TCR program.

Data Analytics

The TCR program will use high-performance computing, such as Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Summit, for coupling data analytics with design, manufacturing, and testing data for rapid qualification of new materials.


ORNL researchers developed a new, safer type of nuclear fuel cladding that could replace alloys that have changed little since the 1970s. In using a modern approach to developing and qualifying new materials for nuclear, the TCR program will drastically reduce the cost and time it takes to build a reactor.

Nuclear Energy

ORNL has been at the forefront of nuclear innovation for over 75 years. Through the TCR program, the lab will build an advanced nuclear reactor while integrating sensors and control systems that offer real-time information for predictive maintenance, enhanced safety, and autonomous operations.

The Approach

The TCR program is leveraging an agile approach to designing and building, which allows for drastically accelerating the nuclear reactor deployment timeline. The approach is continuously informed by high fidelity modeling and simulation and predictive data analytic. A single expansive database inputs and unifies all the design, manufacturing, monitoring, and testing data enabling rapid certification of critical components. This fundamentally different approach is not only faster but offers significant performance improvements. Faster and better is exactly what is needed to deploy economic nuclear energy.