The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint an ad hoc committee of experts to identify opportunities and barriers to the commercialization of new and advanced nuclear reactor technologies in the United States over the next 30 years as part of a decarbonization strategy. Specific topics the committee will examine include:
- The research, development, and demonstration needed for new and advanced nuclear reactor technologies to reach commercial readiness, the potential for leveraging technological developments outside the nuclear energy sector, and the manufacturing, construction, financial, societal, and other barriers associated with their deployment;
- The operational characteristics of these technologies, including their implications for safety, security, and non-proliferation, as well as their interaction with other low-carbon generation and storage resources that may be relevant to a changing electricity system;
- The economic, regulatory, and business challenges associated with commercialization of these technologies;
- The implications of these technologies for the front- and back-end of the fuel cycle;
- The viability of these technologies in applications outside the electricity sector, for example, in desalination, water and waste-water treatment, hydrogen production, or process heat;
- The role of the U.S. government in sponsoring the development and commercialization of new and advanced nuclear reactor technologies to provide clean energy, to address national-security and non-proliferation goals, or to assist in nuclear exports; and
- The future workforce and educational needs to support the research, development, and deployment of these technologies.