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Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear

The mission of the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) is to advance nuclear power as a resource capable of meeting the nation's energy, environmental and national security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, proliferation resistance, and security barriers through research, development and demonstration [RD&D]...

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By Rebecca Kern

Not long ago, a company wanting decades-old national laboratory data on using sodium—instead of water—to cool a nuclear reactor could not have gotten access to such proprietary information.

But a novel Energy Department cost-share program is helping small firms partner with labs to use such data, as well as the labs’ facilities and expertise, as a way to bolster research into advanced reactor technologies.

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) Initiative, launched in November 2015, has awarded up to $2 million in small business vouchers to eight start-up companies to partner with nine participating national labs for one year to overcome specific research and development hurdles for advanced-reactor technologies.

GAIN opened a second small-businesses voucher round March 13 aimed at providing research funding that covers of 80 percent of the firm’s projects.

Rita Baranwal, director of the GAIN program at Idaho National Laboratory, hopes to double the funding this year, depending on overall congressional funding for the Energy Department. The nuclear industry and its advocates have repeatedly said the U.S. must overhaul how nuclear reactors are designed, financed and built in order to be competitive with other energy sources in the future.

“One of the main initiatives is to close the gap to commercialize their technology and to try to get these companies closer to the finish line,” Baranwal, who was formerly director of technology development at Westinghouse Electric Co., told Bloomberg BNA.

“We do that by providing them access to DOE facilities, providing them some financial assistance, and providing them some guidance through the regulatory process as well.”

Continued at link

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Preliminary Draft Guidance on Non-Light Water Reactor Security Design Considerations

The Commission's "Policy Statement on the Regulation of Advanced Reactors," (73 FR 60612; October 14, 2008) states that the design of advanced reactors should "include considerations for safety and security requirements together in the design process such that security issues (e.g., newly identified threats of terrorist attacks) can be effectively resolved through facility design and engineered security features, and formulation of mitigation measures, with reduced reliance on human actions."


The NRC staff issued preliminary draft guidance on non-light water reactor security design considerations for public comment. This document sets forth a set of “security design considerations” that a designer should consider while developing the facility design. These considerations, if adequately implemented through detailed design, along with the adequate implementation of administrative controls and security programs, are one way to protect a nuclear power reactor against the DBT for radiological sabotage. The security design considerations document is available in the NRC’s Agencywide Document Access and Management System at accession no. ML16305A328. A notice was published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2017 (FRN 2017-04873). The comment period closes on April 27, 2017.


Note: Nuclear Energy Voucher information can be found under the "Opportunities" heading or here:

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) today announced the availability of fiscal year 2017 funds for small business vouchers to assist applicants developing advanced nuclear energy technologies who are seeking access to the world class expertise and capabilities available across the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories complex. The small business vouchers are provided by the DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy to support nuclear energy innovation in the small business sector.

"The objective of GAIN is to accelerate cost-effective commercialization of innovative nuclear energy technologies," said Rita Baranwal, GAIN director. "This cost-sharing initiative enables partnerships with small businesses and provides them with access to the technical, regulatory and financial support necessary to bridge the gap to delivering new technologies to market."

A Letter of Intent from a company intending to submit a voucher application is requested and strongly encouraged to be submitted by March 9, 2017. Submitting a Letter of Intent will enable GAIN to assist with identifying appropriate facilities and staff to support the voucher application and to assist the applicant as needed. More information on the vouchers and eligibility requirements are available at

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear is a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to provide the nuclear industrial community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear technologies toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet. Day-to-day management of GAIN is the responsibility of Idaho National Laboratory. See more GAIN news at Follow @GAINnuclear on Twitter or visit our Facebook page at


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A nice synoptic of the US Nuclear Infrastructure Council conference we just attended at Argonne National Laboratory by Rod Adams at Atomic Insights.  NuScale Power, LLC. Elysium Industries, GAIN - Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, Idaho
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