U.S. gov’t launches nuclear energy innovation center
HOUSTON, Aug. 16 -- The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Thursday the launch of the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) to assist with the development of advanced nuclear energy technologies. The department said the NRIC will provide private sector technology developers with the necessary support to test and demonstrate their reactor concepts and assess their performance, which will help accelerate the licensing and commercialization of these new nuclear energy systems. "By bringing industry together with our national labs and university partners, we can enhance our energy independence and position the U.S. as a global leader in advanced nuclear innovation," said Energy Secretary Rick Perry. In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act into law, eliminating some of the financial and technological barriers standing in the way of nuclear innovation. Five million U.S. dollars have been allocated in the fiscal year 2020 budget for the NRIC, which plans to demonstrate small modular reactor and micro-reactor concepts within the next five years.