General Atomics Selected for the Department of Energy's Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 Program

SAN DIEGO, (Jan. 13, 2021) - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has been selected for the Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) program, one of three programs supported under  the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Reactor Demonstration (ARD) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). GA-EMS will develop a conceptual design of a new 50-megawatt electric (MWe) Fast Modular Reactor (FMR) that provides safe, carbon free electricity, and has the capability of incremental capacity additions. The FMR will provide rapid load-following capabilities for seamless integration with renewables and other intermittent power sources, on and off the electric grid.

“This is an exciting effort for GA-EMS that leverages our history as a leading nuclear reactor and technology developer for more than half of a century,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Drawing on our extensive experience with our TRIGA® reactors and our gas-cooled reactor technology development efforts, we will focus on maturing the FMR technology and moving the U.S. closer to a clean energy future.”

The goal of the ARC-20 program is to assist the progression of advanced reactor designs in their earliest phases and bring the most promising designs to market sooner. Over the next three years, GA-EMS will develop the conceptual design of the reactor system, power conversion system, and instrumentation and control system. GA-EMS will also conduct cost analysis and pre-application licensing.

GA-EMS will be working in close collaboration with Framatome Inc., leveraging their extensive expertise in gas-cooled reactor technologies, and a team of industry, national labs, and academic leaders with expertise in all critical systems and subsystems to deliver a complete conceptual design and, subsequently, demonstrate the FMR design by 2030 with anticipated commercial use by the mid-2030s.

“GA-EMS is committed to the commercialization of FMRs, with a safe and affordable way to build and operate them in the near term,” said Dr. Christina Back, vice president of Nuclear Technologies and Materials at GA-EMS. “The FMR modular design will allow factory built components to be assembled on-site, keeping the cost of capital low, while the use of a helium instead of water coolant allows the reactor to be sited in nearly any location. It will use silicon carbide composite material, SiGA®, developed in the DOE’S Accident Tolerant Fuel program, to provide safe, clean energy throughout the U.S. for generations to come.”

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development, and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide. For further information, visit

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