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The Imperative of the Versatile Test Reactor for Nuclear Innovation

The Imperative of the Versatile Test Reactor for Nuclear Innovation

Full Title: The Imperative of the Versatile Test Reactor for Nuclear Innovation
Author(s): Jackie Toth and Khalil Ryan
Publisher(s): Atlantic Council Global Energy Center
Publication Date: April 24, 2023
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

In 2018, Congress passed legislation with bipartisan support to investigate the need for a domestic fast neutron irradiation testing capability, based on the argument that the existing test reactors in the United States would be insufficient to meet new demand for materials and fuels testing from the next generation of advanced reactors. However, in 2021, Congress zeroed out the budget for the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR), leaving the United States without plans to build a domestic advanced test reactor.

In this report, authors Jackie Toth and Khalil Ryan argue that the United States will lose its competitive edge against adversaries (especially Russia) if it lacks a fully realized nuclear energy innovation ecosystem, of which the VTR is a crucial component.

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