As part of the 61st General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held at the IAEA’s international headquarters in Vienna Austria, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its participation in the IAEA’s International Centres based on Research Reactor (ICERR) program. As part of this program, two DOE research reactors at the Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratories will be designated as IAEA certified training centers where researchers from IAEA Member States around the globe will collaborate on new nuclear technologies, including isotope applications in the medical and industrial fields, the advancement of nuclear fission programs, the introduction of new nuclear fusion programs, and nuclear-based global security technologies. With this announcement, the United States joins France and Russia as being one of only three countries with research reactors recognized by the IAEA’s ICERR program.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a plenary speaker at the opening session of the conference, said that this designation “is a tremendous honor recognizing the critical work being conducted at DOE’s Oak Ridge and Idaho national laboratories, and it highlights the importance of our nuclear research facilities and the scientific and nuclear security contributions they bring to the world.”
Following his address to the conference, Secretary Perry toured the exhibition hall viewing a number of advanced nuclear technologies including AMS’ scaled, 3d printed model of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) currently under development by NuScale Power.