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42 U.S. Code § 16275 - Department of Energy civilian nuclear infrastructure and facilities

(a) In general

The Secretary shall operate and maintain infrastructure and facilities to support the nuclear energy research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs, including radiological facilities management, isotope production, and facilities management.

(b) DutiesIn carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—
develop an inventory of nuclear science and engineering facilities, equipment, expertise, and other assets at all of the National Laboratories;
develop a prioritized list of nuclear science and engineering plant and equipment improvements needed at each of the National Laboratories;
consider the available facilities and expertise at all National Laboratories and emphasize investments which complement rather than duplicate capabilities; and
develop a timeline and a proposed budget for the completion of deferred maintenance on plant and equipment, with the goal of ensuring that Department programs under this part will be generally recognized to be among the best in the world.
(c) Versatile neutron source
(1) Authorization
(A) In general

Not later than December 31, 2017, the Secretary shall provide for a versatile reactor-based fast neutron source, which shall operate as a national user facility.

(B) Consultations required

In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consult with the private sector, institutions of higher education, the National Laboratories, and relevant Federal agencies to ensure that the user facility described in subparagraph (A) will meet the research needs of the largest practicable majority of prospective users.

(2) Establishment

As soon as practicable after determining the mission need under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a detailed plan for the establishment of the user facility.

(3) Facility requirements
(A) CapabilitiesThe Secretary shall ensure that the user facility will provide, at a minimum, the following capabilities:
Fast neutron spectrum irradiation capability.
Capacity for upgrades to accommodate new or expanded research needs.
(B) ConsiderationsIn carrying out the plan submitted under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall consider the following:
Capabilities that support experimental high-temperature testing.
Providing a source of fast neutrons at a neutron flux, higher than that at which current research facilities operate, sufficient to enable research for an optimal base of prospective users.
Maximizing irradiation flexibility and irradiation volume to accommodate as many concurrent users as possible.
Capabilities for irradiation with neutrons of a lower energy spectrum.
Multiple loops for fuels and materials testing in different coolants.
Additional pre-irradiation and post-irradiation examination capabilities.
Lifetime operating costs and lifecycle costs.
(4) Deadline for establishment

The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, complete construction of, and approve the start of operations for, the user facility by not later than December 31, 2026.

(5) Reporting

The Secretary shall include in the annual budget request of the Department an explanation for any delay in the progress of the Department in completing the user facility by the deadline described in paragraph (4).

(6) Coordination

The Secretary shall leverage the best practices for management, construction, and operation of national user facilities from the Office of Science.

(7) Authorization of appropriationsThere are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out to completion the construction of the facility under this section—
$295,000,000 for fiscal year 2021;
$348,000,000 for fiscal year 2022;
$525,000,000 for fiscal year 2023;
$534,000,000 for fiscal year 2024; and
$584,000,000 for fiscal year 2025.
(d) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear
(1) In generalIn carrying out the programs under this part, the Secretary is authorized to establish a new initiative to be known as the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN). The initiative shall, to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with national security, provide the nuclear energy industry with access to cutting edge research and development along with the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization in an accelerated and cost-effective fashion. The Secretary shall make available, as a minimum—
experimental capabilities and testing facilities;
computational capabilities, modeling, and simulation tools;
access to existing datasets and data validation tools; and
technical assistance with guidance or processes as needed.
(2) Selection
(A) In general

The Secretary shall select industry partners for awards on a competitive merit-reviewed basis.

(B) ConsiderationsIn selecting industry partners under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider—
the information disclosed by the Department as described in paragraph (1); and
any existing facilities the Department will provide for public private partnership activities.
Editorial Notes

2020—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 116–260, § 2003(f)(1)(A), substituted “Authorization” for “Mission need” in heading.

Subsec. (c)(1)(A). Pub. L. 116–260, § 2003(f)(1)(B), substituted “provide” for “determine the mission need”.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 116–260, § 2003(f)(3), substituted “2026” for “2025”.

Subsec. (c)(7). Pub. L. 116–260, § 2003(f)(2), added par. (7).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–260, § 2003(f)(4), added subsec. (d).

2018—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 115–248 added subsec. (c) and struck out former subsecs. (c) and (d) which required development of a comprehensive plan for the facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and transmittal of the plan to Congress.