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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 28, 2020

Nicole, in 2015 Roger Blomquist at Argonne told me the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) was "ready for prime time" in 1994 when Bill Clinton killed the project. He later regretted the decision, saying in the post-Chernobyl era the IFR was a "symbol".

Why is INL starting from scratch with a new design? If we didn't have time to waste in 1994, we have even less now.

Nicole Stricker's picture
Nicole Stricker on Sep 28, 2020

HI Bob, Thanks for the question. Design for the VTR is not starting from scratch. GE-Hitachi's PRISM Mod. A design is being adapted to suit the VTR's testing mission. The PRISM design in turn incorporates principles from the IFR program (for example metal fuel, inherent safety, passive safety systems). So much of what was learned through the IFR program is being applied here.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 28, 2020

Love seeing progress of technology standing upon the shoulders of those before them-- that's how transformational change will be achieved, indeed!

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 30, 2020

Thanks Nicole, but has INL received design certification for PRISM from the NRC? I know GE-Hitachi has been wrestling with the NRC since 1998 on that very task (?).

Nicole Stricker's picture
Nicole Stricker on Sep 30, 2020

Since VTR will be used for research and not to generate electricity, it does not fall under juristiction of the NRC. VTR will be overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy, which has the legal authority to develop and operate reactors for research. Just like the NRC, DOE places great importantce on protecting the public, workers and the enviroment. More FAQs are answered here https://inl.gov/vtr/.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 30, 2020

Great to hear.  Nuclear has always needed investment of time and money from the federal government, and to see DOE taking the reins with this program is very encouraging.

Thanks again for your valuable input.

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