WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy has released the final environmental assessment and proposed finding of no significant impact for the design, construction and operation of the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment at Idaho National Laboratory.
DOE invites the public to review the final environmental assessment and comment on the proposed FONSI for this project, a DOE news release stated.
MCRE is an experiment scheduled to run for approximately six months at INL, after which it will be decommissioned, the release stated. The results will provide data crucial to the development of TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Fast Reactor design.
“MCRE will be the world’s first test of a fast-spectrum, salt-fueled reactor design,” said Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Kathryn Huff in the release. “This experiment will help advance an unexplored class of reactors and the environmental assessment is an important step toward demonstrating the technology.”
The MCFR would use liquid salts as both a coolant and fuel, allowing it to operate at high temperatures to produce heat or electricity more efficiently than today’s reactors, according to the release. In December 2020, DOE selected a team led by Southern Co. for an Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program Risk Reduction award to design, build, and test MCRE at INL.
As part of the ARDP project, the team will construct the experimental system offsite and ship it to INL, where it will be fueled using materials currently in storage at the laboratory, the release stated.
The final environmental assessment details the review and analysis of alternatives DOE considered for MCRE based on the National Environmental Policy Act, the release stated.
DOE’s analysis determined the construction and operation of MCRE will have no significant environmental or human health impact.
As a result, DOE has released a draft impact statement. DOE invites public comment the FONSI now through Aug. 31, 2023, by mail or email at the following addresses: Mail: Willettia Amos U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Ave. Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415-1235; Email: [email protected].