Perry launches DOE’s Versatile Fast Neutron Source

13 March 2019

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has recently announced the launch of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Versatile Fast Neutron Source, also referred to as the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR), one of the foundational projects specified in the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017.

This fast neutron testing capability will help the United States meet its goal for advanced nuclear reactor technology development. The VTR project will provide leading edge capability for accelerated testing of advanced nuclear fuels, materials, instrumentation, and sensors. It will allow DOE to modernize its essential nuclear energy infrastructure, and conduct crucial advanced technology and materials testing within the United States in a safe, efficient and timely way.

The proposed VTR project could provide accelerated neutron damage rates 20 times greater than current water-cooled test reactors. These higher damage rates are needed within the U.S. to accelerate the testing of nuclear fuels and materials needed by scientist and developers of transformational reactor technologies.

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