House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy Ranking Member Randy Weber praised the Department of Energy today after the announcement of the launch of the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC).

NRIC was a key component of Weber’s Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, a bipartisan bill signed into law last year to advance American leadership in nuclear technology.

DOE announced today that NRIC will be led by Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which will allow private companies to develop, test, and demonstrate their reactor concepts using INL’s state-of-the-art resources.

“I’m pleased to see the Department of Energy is making excellent progress in implementing our bill to advance nuclear energy in America,” Weber said. “Giving the private sector the ability to research, test, and demonstrate their innovative reactor designs through the National Reactor Innovation Center will capitalize on private investment and help new technologies get developed and licensed for commercial use more quickly. It’s a key element of growing America’s safe and reliable nuclear energy industry and maintaining American leadership in nuclear science.”

Today’s announcement is the second milestone this month in the implementation of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act. On August 5, DOE announced that it is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to examine building a Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) in the U.S.