The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE’s) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative has awarded vouchers to three businesses to help support siting activities of advanced reactors and the development of a new recycling process for used nuclear fuel. All three companies will gain access to the research capabilities and expertise of Oak Ridge National Laboratory at no cost to the recipients to help advance their projects.

Curio Solutions (Washington, DC) will work with ORNL to evaluate equipment design concepts for its NuCycleTM process. The project specifically works to determine the criticality safety limits of the equipment that their fuel recycling concept would use to contain fissile material in various chemical forms.

Elementl Power (Greer, South Carolina) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (Chattanooga) will both work on separate projects with ORNL experts to leverage the lab’s Oak Ridge Siting Analysis for power Generation Expansion (OR-SAGE) tool to help identify potential advanced reactor development sites in specific regions in the US and in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area.

GAIN voucher recipients do not receive direct financial awards. The vouchers provide funding to DOE national laboratories to help businesses overcome critical technological and commercialisation challenges. All awardees are responsible for a minimum 20% cost share, which could be an in-kind contribution.

GAIN, established by NE, provides the nuclear community with the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear technologies toward commercialisation while ensuring the continued, safe, and economic operation of the existing fleet. These vouchers are the fourth awarded for FY 2022.

Image: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, US (courtesy of ORNL)