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INL to play key role in President’s clean energy strategy

The Idaho National Laboratory will play a key role in President Obama’s clean energy solution for combating climate change.

The Department of Energy will accelerate the development of advanced designs for nuclear reactors through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN).

GAIN will be established at INL, and will have responsibility for bringing next generation nuclear reactors on-line. INL will coordinate both the technology and the deployment of research and commercial power reactors across the country.

GAIN will serve as the access point for the nuclear industry and entrepreneurs to benefit from the broad range of capabilities, people, facilities, materials, data, and land-across the DOE complex and its National Labs. This new effort will build on DOE’s efforts to provide America’s nuclear power industry with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support needed to move new or advanced nuclear reactor designs toward commercialization.

Additionally, DOE is supplementing its existing Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Solicitation that makes up to $12.5 billion in loan guarantees available for eligible projects that can include construction of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear facilities.

The new supplement clarifies that project costs for an eligible project that are incurred as part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing process, such as design certification, construction permit, and combined construction and operating license (COL), could be eligible costs that may be financed with a loan guaranteed by DOE.

During a White House Summit on Nuclear Energy Friday morning, Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, said nuclear fission energy production has several major challenges.

Those include reducing costs, maximizing safety, managing radioactive waste, and minimizing the possibility of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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