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PNNL Co-Hosts Regional Workshop on Nuclear Innovation

March 2015
PNNL Co-Hosts Regional Workshop on Nuclear Innovation
Logo for the Nuclear
Innovations Workshop

The future of nuclear energy in the United States relies on us finding innovative ways to safely extend the life of the existing nuclear power plant fleet, develop the next generation of reactors, and safely manage used nuclear fuel. The maintenance and expansion of current nuclear capacity as well as increased penetration into the export market are critical for meeting the nation's future energy needs

In partnership with Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., PNNL hosted one of six nationwide workshops on nuclear energy innovation from March 3-5, 2015. Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), workshop focus areas included new concepts in energy systems and subsystems, use of existing technologies, improved R&D paradigms, and streamlined regulation.

Steve Unwin, manager of nuclear energy programs at PNNL, participated as the lead subject matter expert in the Corvallis workshop, where participants with a wide range of expertise discussed innovations in technology aimed at:

  • reducing electricity generation cost while emphasizing capital cost reduction,
  • enhanced safety and security,
  • reduced environmental impact,
  • reduced proliferation risk, and
  • improved resource and waste management

A consolidated report that summarizes the technical discussions from each workshop is forthcoming. It will include specific recommendations to DOE-NE for enhancements or additions to RD&D programs to enable innovation for the nuclear energy market of the future.

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