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The Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and coordinated through a variety of mechanisms and interactions with industry, vendors, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and other industry research and development (R&D) organizations, conducts research to develop technologies and other solutions to improve economics and reliability, sustain safety, and extend the operation of nation's fleet of nuclear power plants.

The LWRS program has two objectives to maintain the long-term operations of the existing fleet:

  1. to provide science and technology-based solutions to industry to overcome the current labor-intensive business model and associated practices; and

  2. to manage the aging of systems, structures, and components (SSCs) so nuclear power plants can continue to operate safely and cost effectively.

The LWRS program research and development pathways are:

  1. Materials Research – R&D to develop the scientific basis for understanding and predicting long-term environmental degradation behavior of materials in nuclear power plants,

  2. Plant Modernization – R&D to address nuclear power plant economic viability in current and future energy markets through innovation, efficiency gains, and business model transformation through digital technologies, and

  3. Risk-Informed Systems Analysis R&D to support decision-making related to economics, reliability, and safety, which will be demonstrated by providing integrated plant systems analysis solutions to enhance the economic competitiveness of the operating fleet.