The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) mission is to advance U. S. nuclear power in order to meet the nation's energy needs by:
1. ) Enhancing the long-term viability and competitiveness of the existing U. S. reactor fleet; 2. ) Developing an advanced
reactor pipeline; and, 3. ) Implementing and maintaining the national strategic fuel cycle and supply chain infrastructure.All applications submitted under this FOA must demonstrate a strong tie to at least one of these 3 priorities.NE conducts crosscutting nuclear energy research and development (R&D) and associated infrastructure support activities, to develop innovative technologies that offer the promise of dramatically improved performance for its mission needs as stated above, while maximizing the impact of DOE resources.The DOE has established a Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) team, which has been working closely with the advanced nuclear design community to identify R&D objectives and work scopes that may be appropriately addressed through DOE programs.
Several of the work scopes contain explicit language as guidance, but there are many additional work scopes that, at least tangentially, address needs identified in technology specific workshops.
Work scopes that may be addressed in activities funded under this FOA are identified in Part IX, Appendices A-C, below.
Generally speaking, applications that offer flexibility or provision for addressing measurements, materials, and conditions relevant to private sector developers of fast-spectrum reactors (lead-cooled, sodium cooled, and gas cooled), molten salt reactors (MSR), or high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGCR) are encouraged.
NE strives to promote integrated and collaborative research conducted by national laboratory, university, industry, and international partners under the direction of NE’s programs, and to deploy innovative nuclear energy technologies to the market in order to meet the strategic goals and optimize the benefits of nuclear energy.
NE funds research activities, through both competitive and direct mechanisms, as required to best meet the needs of NE.
This approach ensures a balanced R&D portfolio and encourages new nuclear power deployment with creative solutions to the universe of nuclear energy challenges.
This FOA addresses the competitive portion of NE’s R&D portfolio, as executed through the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) Crosscutting Technology Development (CTD), and the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF).
NEUP utilizes up to 20% of funds appropriated to NE’s R&D program for university-based infrastructure support and R&D in key NE program-related areas:
Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FC R&D), Reactor Concepts Research, Development and Demonstration (RC RD&D), and Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS).
NEET CTD supports national laboratory and university-led crosscutting research.
By establishing the NSUF in 2007, DOE-NE opened up access to material test reactors, beam lines, and post-irradiation examination facilities to researchers from U. S. universities, industry, and national laboratories, by granting no-cost access to world-class nuclear research facilities.
While this FOA specifies many of NE’s current and upcoming R&D priorities, NE reserves the right to respond to potential shifts in R&D priorities during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 that may be driven by events, policy developments, or Congressional/budget direction.
Further, NE reserves the right to fund all or part of an application to this FOA.