GE Hitachi and PRISM Selected for U.S. Department of Energy’s Versatile Test Reactor Program

WILMINGTON, North Carolina—November 13, 2018—GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and its PRISM technology have been selected by Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) program which seeks to utilize fast neutron spectrum technology to support accelerated development of fuels and materials for U.S. advanced reactors.

 

The project is focused on advancing the reactor design and developing cost estimates for a new fast neutron spectrum irradiation capability. The results of the project will help inform a DOE decision about whether to construct a sodium-cooled fast test reactor that could become operational as early as 2026. GEH and Bechtel National Inc. will advance the design and cost estimates for the VTR based on GEH’s PRISM technology.   

 

“The VTR is a vital and strategic project for the U.S. and its promising advanced reactor industry, and we applaud the administration and Congress for making this technology a priority,” said Jay Wileman, GEH President and CEO. “Our VTR project team combines GEH’s strength as a nuclear plant vendor, service provider and nuclear fuel fabricator with Bechtel’s strength in nuclear project management, engineering, procurement and construction. The mature PRISM technology is ideally suited to meet the VTR mission needs.”

 

“The U.S. currently has no capability to test these fuels and materials,” said Peggy McCullough, a Bechtel senior vice president and general manager of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security, and Operations business line. “Advanced reactors hold great promise but their components need the proper testing before they can be licensed and used in energy-producing reactors. That’s what the Versatile Test Reactor will provide. It’s extremely important for the science community, industry, regulators, and the future of nuclear energy research.”

 

Building on the proven principles of the EBR-II, an integral sodium-cooled fast reactor prototype that was operated successfully for more than 30 years by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in Idaho, PRISM is the only sodium-cooled reactor to have successfully completed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) preapplication review process. The PRISM Probabilistic Risk Assessment, developed with ANL in 2016, provided a validation of the advanced reactor’s safety.

 

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety. Follow GEH on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Bechtel

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that create long-term progress and economic growth.  Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. We operate through four global businesses: Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals. Our company and our culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to our values, the core of which are safety, quality, ethics, and integrity. These values are what we believe, what we expect, what we deliver, and what we live.  www.Bechtel.com

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