Murkowski Welcomes Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

May 15, 2020

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, welcomed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) launch of an Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) within its Office of Nuclear Energy. The ARDP will partner with private industry to help demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.

“Over the past several years, I have worked with my Senate colleagues to develop a pathway for these important clean energy systems and have pushed my Nuclear Energy Leadership Act to reposition us as the undisputed world leader in advanced nuclear technology,” Murkowski said. “NELA focuses DOE on advanced reactor demonstrations, and we worked to make this specific program possible through the Appropriations process. These nuclear reactors will provide a sensible path toward cleaner energy and a lower-carbon future.”

Murkowski worked with Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., to help secure $230 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to start the demonstration program. Within that amount, ARDP will provide $160 million through cost-sharing partnerships with industry for initial funding to build two reactors that can be operational within the next five to seven years. ARDP will also direct funding to reactor concepts that will reach commercialization closer to 2030.

ARDP is also leveraging the National Reactor Innovation Center, authorized in the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (Public Law 115-248), to efficiently evaluate advanced reactor technologies using DOE’s National Laboratories and move those reactors to the next stage.

Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.