Nuclear energy provides nearly 20 percent of America’s electricity supply. But by 2055, all current nuclear reactors based on light water technology will likely retire due to expiring licenses. As far as advanced reactors go, currently there are none in operation, and it has been 40 years since this nation built and operated one.
To combat this, Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched the Transformational Challenge Reactor Program. The goal is simple: build an additively manufactured microreactor using the latest scientific innovation and allow nuclear industry to adopt the technology approach developed by TCR. Once TCR starts operation, it will be the first advanced reactor to operate in the United States in more than 40 years, representing a watershed moment for the domestic nuclear sector.
The TCR program is working diligently to transfer its technology to the industry almost as fast as it’s being developed and demonstrated. Industry leaders are already using TCR technology advancements to improve and implement their own designs and to provide clean and cost-competitive energy production immediately.