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IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO – Dr. John Wagner, associate laboratory director of Idaho National Laboratory’s Nuclear Science & Technology Directorate, has announced the selection of Dr. Ashley Finan to serve as director, and Nicholas Smith to serve as deputy director of the INL-based National Reactor Innovation Center. As NRIC directors, Finan and Smith will lead efforts to accelerate the testing, demonstration and commercialization of innovative reactor technologies in the United States. READ MORE

10/3/2019
  

​Earlier this week ARPA-E  issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $35 million in funding for a new program, Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA). GEMINA projects will develop tools and systems to enable more flexible, less costly nuclear power plants. 

The GEMINA program will develop digital twin technology for advanced nuclear reactors, using artificial intelligence and advanced modeling controls to create tools that introduce greater flexibility in nuclear reactor systems, increased autonomy in operations, and faster design iteration. The development of these digital twins will work towards a goal to contribute to a 10x reduction in operating and management (O&M) costs at advanced reactor power plants.

For more information on ARPA-E's GEMINA program, click here. The deadline to submit a concept paper for GEMINI is 9:30 a.m. ET on November 13, 2019. Additional information, including the full FOA and how to find project teaming partners, is available on ARPA-E's online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

10/2/2019
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A major design goal for Generation IV nuclear energy systems is to reduce or eliminate the likelihood and/or extent of reactor core damage incurred during an off-normal operating event, thereby eliminating the need for offsite emergency response.  One approach for achieving this objective is to develop inherently safe reactor designs that can passively dissipate decay heat to the environment without relying on operator action during an event of this type.   Historically, this approach has been taken for both sodium- and gas-cooled Generation IV reactor types by providing Reactor Cavity Cooling Systems (RCCS) that are designed to passively dissipate decay heat to the environment by natural convection while maintain fuel temperature below the threshold for onset of core damage.

This presentation will begin by providing a high level overview of RCCS systems that have been developed for advanced reactor designs over the years.  This will be followed by a summary of large scale integral effect tests that are currently underway at Argonne to provide licensing-quality data for two of these systems; i.e., air- and water-cooled RCCS concepts. SEE FLYER



10/1/2019
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Nuclear Energy forum hosted on October 1st by the State of Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). 

Attached Summary and Presentations:  READ MORE


10/1/2019
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​The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that two nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the fourth set of awards in FY 2019.  READ MORE

9/19/2019
  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Three projects in three states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $15 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and private laboratories, institutions of higher education, and other domestic entities, to advance the state of U.S. commercial nuclear capability. READ MORE

9/10/2019
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The Fiscal Year 2020 Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) funding opportunity announcement has been released and is available here. TCF leverages research and development funding in the applied energy programs to mature promising energy technologies with high impact potential. TCF works to expand the commercial impact of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) portfolio of research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. National laboratory-led proposals cover two topic areas: Topic Area 1: Projects for which additional technology maturation is needed to attract a private partner. Topic Area 2: Cooperative development projects between a lab and industry partner(s), designed to bolster the commercial application of a lab developed technology. READ MORE

9/10/2019
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Overview

To support United States leadership in the development and demonstration of microreactor technologies, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is providing the opportunity for access to High Assay Low Enriched Uranium (HALEU) for the development of fuel and subsequent demonstration of microreactor technology on the INL site. The goal of this opportunity is to accelerate demonstration of commercially viable microreactor technologies.

READ MORE



8/22/2019
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DOE-NE announces the release of the FY2020 Funding Opportunity Announcements for Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research (DE-FOA-0002128) and Scientific Infrastructure Support for Consolidated Innovative Research (DE-FOA-0002129).  Official copies of the documents are available at Grants.gov.  Applications are to be submitted to neup.gov. Copies of professional courtesy are available at the following links:

Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research (DE-FOA-0002128)

Scientific Infrastructure Support for Consolidated Innovative Research (DE-FOA-0002129)

CINR Schedule (all deadlines are 7 PM ET):

September 4, 2019: Letter of Intent (Mandatory only for NSUF Applications)
September 24, 2019: R&D/NSUF Pre-Applications (Mandatory except for IRPs)
November 21, 2019: NSUF Preliminary Statement of Work
January 23, 2020: NSUF Final Statement of Work
February 11, 2020: Full R&D Applications
February 11, 2020: IRP Applications

Infrastructure Applications are due at 5 PM ET on November 13, 2019

Submit an Application


8/20/2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today the launch of the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC). The new initiative will assist with the development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by harnessing the world-class capabilities of the DOE national laboratory system.

Authorized by the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, NRIC will provide private sector technology developers the necessary support to test and demonstrate their reactor concepts and assess their performance. This will help accelerate the licensing and commercialization of these new nuclear energy systems.

“NRIC will enable the demonstration and deployment of advanced reactors that will define the future of nuclear energy,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “By bringing industry together with our national labs and university partners, we can enhance our energy independence and position the U.S. as a global leader in advanced nuclear innovation.”

READ MORE


8/15/2019
  
8/9/2019
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​Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is proving that good things really do come in small packages. 

Researchers recently created new MiniFuel targets that could potentially save time and money when developing nuclear fuels. 

This could dramatically accelerate fuel testing and completely change the way we create and qualify nuclear fuels. 

READ MORE

8/7/2019
  

​WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register announcing that the department will develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study the impacts of building a Versatile Test Reactor in the U.S. to test future fuels and materials that industry is designing for advanced civilian nuclear power reactors to provide large amounts of carbon-free, economical electricity for the nation’s power grid.

READ MORE
8/5/2019
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Overview 
To support United States leadership in the development and demonstration of microreactor technologies, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is providing the opportunity for access to High Assay Low Enriched Uranium (HALEU) for the development of fuel and subsequent demonstration of microreactor technology on the INL site. The goal of this opportunity is to accelerate demonstration of commercially viable microreactor technologies. 

Key Dates

Issue Draft Notice of Opportunity: July 22, 2019

Industry Day (Washington, D.C.): August 7, 2019

Issue Notification of Opportunity: August 21, 2019

Requests Due: 5 pm EDT, September 20, 2019

READ MORE

7/23/2019
  

Dr. Rita Baranwal is the new assistant secretary for nuclear energy, making her the first woman to lead the office at the U.S. Department of Energy.

As a strong advocate for nuclear energy, she brings more than 20 years of experience in the nuclear field and takes over a $1.3 billion portfolio to promote the research and development of current and advanced nuclear technologies. READ MORE


7/16/2019
  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry today officially swore in Dr. Rita Baranwal as the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. Dr. Baranwal, whom the U.S. Senate first confirmed on June 20, becomes the first woman to lead the Office of Nuclear Energy.

In her new role, Dr. Baranwal will lead the office’s efforts to promote research and development on existing and advanced nuclear technologies, maintain the existing fleet of nuclear reactors, and promote the development of a robust pipeline of advanced reactor designs and supply chain capabilities.

“It is an honor to be part of an organization that is leading the U.S. in game-changing, innovative nuclear technologies,” said Dr. Baranwal. “Advanced reactors are smaller, cleaner, and more efficient, and will equip the U.S. nuclear energy industry to lead the world in deployment, supplying urgently needed clean energy both domestically and globally.”

Dr. Baranwal has directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory since 2016. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative connects industry with national laboratories to help commercialize nuclear technologies. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted 112 projects and companies. READ MORE

7/11/2019
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Electricity markets are changing because of (1) the addition of wind and solar and (2) the goal of a low-carbon economy. This results in times of low and high prices that reduces revenue for reactors that produce base-load electricity. The addition of heat storage enables GenIV reactors operating at base-load to produce variable electricity to the grid that increases revenue and produces the variable electricity that the electricity grid needs. Heat storage costs are an order-of-magnitude less than electricity storage technologies (batteries, etc.). The workshop explores the technical and institutional challenges of heat storage to develop a path forward. The higher temperatures of GenIV reactors substantially reduces the cost of storage relative to LWRs—providing a large incentive for their development. The workshop includes the concentrated solar power (CSP) community that is developing many of the same heat storage systems for the same reasons. REGISTRATION 

7/10/2019
  

Technology transfer at Idaho National Laboratory has come a long way since 1980, the year President Jimmy Carter signed the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act, directing national labs to shepherd government-developed innovations into the private sector.

"Our core business has always been trying to get technology out of the lab and into the hands of people who use it," said Jason Stolworthy, INL's Technology Deployment director. "Technology advancements often result in profound societal benefit when commercialized, and we work with entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovative companies to turn INL's innovations to products and services that improve our lives." READ MORE


7/6/2019
  

​The Senate on Thursday confirmed Rita Baranwal as assistant secretary of energy for nuclear energy, after Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released her hold on Energy Department nominees over federal plutonium shipments to her state. READ MORE

6/20/2019
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The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that three nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the third set of awards in FY 2019.  READ MORE

6/19/2019
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To support United States leadership in the development and demonstration of nuclear energy technologies, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will be providing an opportunity for access to High Assay Low Enriched Uranium (HALEU) for the development of fuel and subsequent demonstration of microreactor technologies on the INL site.  The goal of this opportunity is to support private-sector demonstration of commercially viable microreactor technologies.  Approximately 10 metric tons of HALEU will be available to industry.  This supply of HALEU is designated for research, development and demonstration purposes.​READ MORE

6/11/2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Three projects in three states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $11 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and private laboratories, institutions of higher education, and other domestic entities, to advance the state of U.S. commercial nuclear capability. READ MORE

5/23/2019
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On Feb. 18, 1949, the recently formed Atomic Energy Commission (predecessor to today's U.S. Department of Energy) selected a Naval Proving Ground in Idaho as the site of a planned National Reactor Testing Station. Within just a few years, the site was home to numerous milestones that paved the way for the peaceful use of nuclear energy to generate safe, emission-free electricity. Although names at the site changed over the years (Argonne-West, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory), nearly every operating reactor in the world has technological roots in Idaho. That proud tradition continues today, with what is now Idaho National Laboratory set to host the nation's first small modular reactor demonstration and a new versatile fast-neutron test reactor with the next decade.​

70 Years of Nuclear Milestones Flipbook

5/7/2019
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​The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced today that three nuclear companies will be provided GAIN Nuclear Energy (NE) Vouchers to accelerate the innovation and application of advanced nuclear technologies. NE vouchers provide advanced nuclear technology innovators with access to the extensive nuclear research capabilities and expertise available across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex. This is the second set of awards in FY 2019.  READ MORE

4/4/2019
  

From Marianne Walck, Science & Technology deputy laboratory director:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Rita Baranwal and Dr. Boryann Liaw have been honored with the Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) Award for 2019. They are the third and fourth INL recipients of the AAEOY award in the past two years. READ MORE

4/4/2019
  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Four projects in two states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $19 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and private laboratories, institutions of higher education, and other domestic entities, to advance the state of U.S. commercial nuclear capability. READ MORE

3/27/2019
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According to a DOE news release today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the launch of DOE's Versatile Fast Neutron Source, also referred to as the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR), one of the foundational projects specified in the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017.

"U.S. test reactors and user facilities are one reason the United States has maintained an international leadership role in nuclear energy research and development," said Idaho National Laboratory Director Mark Peters. "We currently do not have the fast neutron spectrum research facilities in the U.S. necessary to enable a robust future for advanced reactors. DOE's announcement about the versatile test reactor project is the first important milestone in establishing this capability, and prioritizes investment in this user facility that will serve the science community, industry, regulators and the future of nuclear energy research and innovation."

The Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017 (NEICA, S.97, which was enacted into law in September 2018) included provisions for a Versatile Neutron Source and directs the Energy secretary to determine the mission need for a versatile reactor-based fast neutron source operating as a national user facility – as well as a deadline, to the maximum extent practicable – to complete construction and approve the start of the VTR operations by December 2025. INL will lead the VTR project.

DOE news release


2/28/2019
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Transfer selected fundamental nuclear energy technology history and experience - including important lessons learned - to the next generation of leaders from industry, government and academia.​

If you are interested in attending, please contact Phil Hildebrandt at philip.hildebrandt@inl.gov.

Workshop Details

2/27/2019
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​Excellence in safety and reliability is among the goals identified in the technology roadmap for Generation IV nuclear reactors. This webinar will give an overview of the activities of the Gen IV Risk and Safety Working Group done in support of the six Gen IV nuclear energy systems towards the fulfilment of this goal. Topics include a presentation of the safety philosophy for Gen IV systems, the current safety framework for advanced reactors, and the methodology developed by the group for the safety assessment of Gen IV designs. Other ongoing activities between the group and the designers of Gen IV systems will be also highlighted. February 19, 2019 at 5:30 AM (PST); 8:30 AM (EST)

Webinar Flyer
Please register at the following link

More information about the GIF's webinar series (and past and future webinars) can be found on the GIF website

2/5/2019
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​The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative has been named by the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council as a winner of its 2018 Trailblazer Meritorious Achievement Award. The award was presented at USNIC’s Advanced Reactor Summit VI Jan. 29-31, 2019, in San Diego, California.
GAIN’s award is for its work in providing the nuclear energy community a single point of access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear technologies toward commercialization.
The Advanced Reactors Summit Trailblazer Awards were established in 2017. Jose Reyes, NuScale co-founder and chief technology officer, was the inaugural honoree that year, followed by Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Utility Commission at Summit V in February 2018. Terrestrial Energy received the first Trailblazer Special Achievement Award at Summit V.
In addition to GAIN, this year’s honorees include Energy for Humanity, a nonprofit organization based in the United Kingdom and Switzerland focused on solving climate change and enabling universal access to modern energy services. The organization will receive the Advanced Reactors Summit Trailblazer Award. “Titans of Nuclear,” a 125-podcast project of the Energy Impact Center, will be recognized with a Trailblazer Special Achievement Award for its one-on-one interviews of nuclear energy leaders from around the world.
READ MORE

1/31/2019
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