Multiple advanced reactor developers have announced domestic demonstration projects to be built in the 2020s. These nuclear reactors will provide the licensing, construction, and operational basis for rapid commercial expansion of advanced nuclear energy in the late 2020s and early 2030s. Technology, business, and regulatory lessons learned from first-of-a-kind (FOAK) projects will facilitate lower costs and shorter construction timelines for subsequent nth-of-a-kind (NOAK) reactors due to wide-scale deployment and technological learning. Utilities and other customers that gain early experience with FOAK or early NOAK projects will be in competitive positions to become technology leaders. Property of the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA). For more information about advanced reactor deployments, please contact vibarrajr@nuclearinnovationalliance.org.

This is letter, signed by NIA and other non-government organizations, provides recommends to DOE for increasing its transparency practices with the implementation of the hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) program. These recommendations include ensuring relevant technical and outcome data be made available as soon as possible via each hub’s public website and through DOE, and requiring each hub to publish an annual report on its activities. Also recommended, is that DOE make the following information available to stakeholders and the general public: (1) The terms of the final agreement and project milestones; (2) milestone-related data and information; and (3) additional technical data.  

This report summarizes the efforts of NIA, and more than 100 other participants, to establish a collective understanding of the gaps that exist between the real and anticipated costs and capabilities of advanced nuclear energy technologies and the characterization of those costs and capabilities in prominent energy system modeling efforts; and to outline collectively a set of actions that could be taken by the energy modeling community and the federal government to help close those gaps. The recommendations in the report call for the establishment of an advanced nuclear energy cost and performance database that will be developed, housed, and overseen by a Department of Energy office or national laboratory with expertise in advanced nuclear energy technologies. Moreover, the recommendations call for energy system modelers to update their default system model assumptions to reflect ranges based on advanced nuclear reactor developer survey results and the cost and performance parameters published in recent studies.