Advanced Construction Technology Initiative

Making Nuclear Construction Faster and More Affordable

NRIC’s Advanced Construction Technology (ACT) Initiative aims to reduce cost overruns and schedule slippages that have plagued the construction of nuclear power plant projects. With this initiative NRIC plans to facilitate development of advanced nuclear plant construction technologies and approaches through partnerships that could provide game changing benefits to the construction of advanced nuclear power plants.

3 Ways to Demonstrate Advanced Nuclear Construction Technologies by 2025

The initial project under this initiative will demonstrate multiple technologies used successfully in other industries that have not been tested within the context of nuclear energy. These include:

 

    • Vertical shaft construction, a best practice from the tunneling industry that could
      reduce construction schedules by more than a year
    • Steel Bricks, modular steel-concrete composite structures, much like high-tech LEGO® pieces, which could significantly reduce the labor required on site
    • Advanced monitoring, coupled with digital twin technology, which can create a digital
      replica of the nuclear power plant structure

The Nuts and Bolts to Bring Advanced Technologies to Market

This work is funded and managed through NRIC, which was established in 2019 to enable advanced reactor demonstration and deployment. Advanced construction techniques for the plants that house these advanced reactors is a critical step toward deployment. The initial project will be conducted in two phases. The initial phase will focus on technology development and preparation for a small-scale demonstration. Pending the successful completion of the first phase and future appropriated funds, a second phase is planned to carry out the demonstration within three years of this award.

ACT in the News

DOE and GE Hitachi Team Up to Lower Costs of Building New Nuclear Reactors

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $5.8 million in funding to develop three construction technologies that together can reduce the cost of new nuclear builds by more than 10 percent.

“Construction costs and schedule overruns have plagued new nuclear builds for decades,” said Dr. Kathryn Huff, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE. “By leveraging advanced construction technologies, we can drive down costs and speed the pace of advanced nuclear deployment – much needed steps to tackle global climate change and meet the President’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”  Read more

US program aims to cut nuclear construction costs

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a multi-million-dollar program to develop three technologies, already common within other industries, to reign in ballooning nuclear power plant construction costs. Read more

Building nuclear plants faster and in a more affordable way

There is a lot of buzz around advanced reactors, and for good reason, according to Ashley Finan, director of the Department of Energy’s National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC). Read more

Advanced Construction Technology Initiative

Making Nuclear Construction Faster and More Affordable

NRIC’s Advanced Construction Technology (ACT) Initiative aims to reduce cost overruns and schedule slippages that have plagued the construction of nuclear power plant projects. With this initiative NRIC plans to facilitate development of advanced nuclear plant construction technologies and approaches through partnerships that could provide game changing benefits to the construction of advanced nuclear power plants.

3 Ways to Demonstrate Advanced Nuclear Construction Technologies by 2025

The initial project under this initiative will demonstrate multiple technologies used successfully in other industries that have not been tested within the context of nuclear energy. These include:

 

    • Vertical shaft construction, a best practice from the tunneling industry that could
      reduce construction schedules by more than a year
    • Steel Bricks, modular steel-concrete composite structures, much like high-tech LEGO® pieces, which could significantly reduce the labor required on site
    • Advanced monitoring, coupled with digital twin technology, which can create a digital
      replica of the nuclear power plant structure

The Nuts and Bolts to Bring Advanced Technologies to Market

This work is funded and managed through NRIC, which was established in 2019 to enable advanced reactor demonstration and deployment. Advanced construction techniques for the plants that house these advanced reactors is a critical step toward deployment. The initial project will be conducted in two phases. The initial phase will focus on technology development and preparation for a small-scale demonstration. Pending the successful completion of the first phase and future appropriated funds, a second phase is planned to carry out the demonstration within three years of this award.

ACT in the News

DOE and GE Hitachi Team Up to Lower Costs of Building New Nuclear Reactors

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $5.8 million in funding to develop three construction technologies that together can reduce the cost of new nuclear builds by more than 10 percent.

“Construction costs and schedule overruns have plagued new nuclear builds for decades,” said Dr. Kathryn Huff, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE. “By leveraging advanced construction technologies, we can drive down costs and speed the pace of advanced nuclear deployment – much needed steps to tackle global climate change and meet the President’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Read more