ARPA-E Archived Funding Opportunities

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  DE-FOA-0003091 Request for Information (RFI) on Transmutation of Nuclear Waste Request for Information (RFI) TBD TBD

DE-FOA-0003091: Request for Information (RFI) on Transmutation of Nuclear Waste


ARPA-E has as one of its goals the development of energy technologies that improve the management, cleanup, and disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. To meet this goal, ARPA-E has established a suite of programs (GEMINI, MEITNER, ONWARDS, CURIE) that have the potential to reduce the volume of radioactive waste by a factor of 10 or more and the needed time for storage by a comparable amount. Nuclear transmutation of key fission products and actinides in the remaining radioactive waste has the potential to reduce the volume and storage time by additional orders of magnitude. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit input for a potential future ARPA-E program focused on the development of technologies to support advances in nuclear transmutation with the desired goal to reduce the volume, radiotoxicity, and storage time of spent nuclear fuel. Generation of valuable isotopes, semiconductor production, and radioisotopes are also of interest to this RFI.

Consistent with the agency’s mission, ARPA-E is seeking novel and disruptive technologies that are early in the R&D cycle. ARPA-E seeks to include input from the developers and end-users of such technologies, including national laboratories, universities, private industry, and the medical community. ARPA-E is particularly interested in transmutation enabling technologies, and it is specifically interested in how such technologies can improve the reliability and duty cycles of transmutation systems while reducing capital and operating costs.

Understanding the economic factors that would lead to a transmutation facility are invaluable to a potential program. Reprocessing of waste may be needed for efficient transmutation. The location of this reprocessing facility, whether located at the waste generating sites, or at the transmutation location will impact the economics. Additionally, depending on the size of the transmutation facility, there may be several facilities constructed in order to reduce quantities of waste to the desired metric. Funds for the decommissioning of reactors as well as the nuclear waste fund may be available for these types of activities.

The questions below are intended to allow relevant stakeholders a mechanism to provide input on:

(i) metrics to gauge the success of transmutation of spent nuclear fuel;

(ii) advancements in transmutation enabling technologies, including accelerator-driven systems and current and advanced generation reactors, and non-neutron sources; and

(iii) economic factors for the operation of transmutation facilities.

Responses to the questions below will help ARPA-E to refine its success metrics for a potential program aimed at the reduction of radiotoxicity, volume, and storage time of spent nuclear fuel through the use of transmutation. ARPA-E does not expect any one respondent to answer all, or even many, of these prompts. Simply indicate the group and question number in your response. Appropriate citations are encouraged. Respondents are also welcome to address other relevant avenues/technologies that are not outlined below.

Areas that are not Considered for this RFI:

  • General discourse on nuclear energy and waste disposal strategies
  • Transmutation initiated by fusion processes
  • Fission-fusion hybrid devices
  • Separations of minor actinides from used nuclear fuel
  • The use of transmutation to produce medical radioisotopes


Respondents shall not include any information in their response to this RFI that might be considered proprietary or confidential.

Responses to this RFI should be submitted in PDF format to the email address by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on June 12, 2023.


  • Request for Information (RFI) on Transmutation of Nuclear Waste (Last Updated: 5/11/2023 08:42 AM ET)

Submission Deadlines

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: TBD
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: TBD