Lowering Costs,
Accelerating Innovation

MAKING THE CASE

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. There are currently no advanced reactors in operation, although multiple plans exist to invest in new reactor designs and actually build new advanced reactors to prepare for the next generation of nuclear.

The goal of the Transformational Challenge Reactor Program is simple: Leverage advances in manufacturing, materials and computation to enable adoption of technologies to facilitate delivery of reliable, low-cost clean nuclear energy for the nation.

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 to improve and implement their own designs and to provide clean and cost-competitive energy production.

Bringing ORNL Innovation to Nuclear

Iterative Design

Using advanced manufacturing to rapidly realize and inform complex design, accelerating the design cycle (fabricate, evaluate, and modify).

Advanced Materials

Exploiting advanced manufacturing to introduce new high-performance materials into nuclear energy systems.

Data Analytics

Coupling manufacturing process monitoring with data analytics to accelerate component certification.

Embedded Sensors

Using advanced manufacturing to incorporate sensors into critical structures to enable health monitoring and autonomy.