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5 Key Takeaways from the FY25 Budget Request for Nuclear Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its Fiscal Year 2025 budget request, which includes nearly $1.6 billion for the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE).

The request includes $694.2 million in research and development activities that will help advance important reactor and fuel technologies, address gaps in the domestic nuclear fuel supply chain, and harness the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to optimize the performance of the nation’s fleet of reactors.

Below are five key takeaways from the FY25 budget request for nuclear energy.

1. Access to HALEU

NE is requesting $188 million to secure a near-term supply of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) for DOE-supported research and demonstration projects.

These efforts include the recovery and downblending of government-owned legacy uranium and ramping up enrichment operations in Piketon, Ohio to help make limited quantities available.

The funding complements the Department’s longer-term strategy to expand its domestic enrichment capacity through purchase agreements with industry partners to help spur demand for additional HALEU production.

The recently passed FY24 spending bill directed $2.72 billion to further build out a low-enriched uranium and advanced nuclear fuel supply chain. It will also help assure there is an adequate supply of low-enriched uranium fuel to meet the current needs of U.S. reactors and our allies to eliminate the nation’s dependance on Russian fuel services.

2. Developing New Reactor Technologies

The FY25 request includes $142.5 million to support the continued execution of five advanced reactor projects supported through DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program.

NE is also requesting $56 million to establish new testing facilities at the national labs, including $12 million to finish the construction of the NRIC DOME at Idaho National Laboratory.

DOME will be the world’s first microreactor test bed and could start testing designs as soon as 2026.