Abstract: With the significant advances made by additive manufacturing (3-D printing) technologies over the last decade, it is now possible to use these technologies to design and manufacture critical components for a variety of industries, ranging from heavy industry to aerospace. While printing an entire nuclear reactor is not yet feasible, a new U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy program is working toward printing the core of a nuclear reactor and demonstrating its operation as a critical reactor.
The Transformational Challenge Reactor program is led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory with support from Argonne and Idaho National Laboratory. This highly multidisciplinary program brings together manufacturing science, reactor design, advanced simulation, machine learning, material science, and more. The objectives of this program, the research and development area of importance, and some of the achievements so far will be discussed.