Ashley Finan, Director of the National Reactor Innovation Center

Finan P   scaledAshley Finan is the. Director of the National Reactor Innovation Center. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing initiatives to provide resources to reactor innovators to test, demonstrate, and conduct performance assessments to accelerate the deployment of advanced nuclear technology concepts.
Dr. Finan most recently served as Executive Director for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, where she was responsible for managing the organization’s strategy, operations, policy and technical development, stakeholder outreach, and fundraising. She provided expert guidance to policymakers, academic teams, industry stakeholders, and NGOs. Dr. Finan previously served as a Director of Nuclear Innovation at Clean Air Task Force.
Dr. Finan earned her Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her doctoral work focused on energy innovation investment and policy optimization, both in nuclear and renewable energy technologies. She has played a key role in studies of the use of advanced nuclear energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in several applications, including hydrogen production, coal to liquids processes, and oil production methods. She has worked as a strategy and engineering consultant, primarily on nuclear energy applications. She has also contributed to analyses of the techno-economic potential of energy efficiency improvements in the residential and commercial sectors and several related topics.
Dr. Finan holds an SB degree in Physics as well as SB and SM degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT.
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Nicholas Smith, Deputy Director of the National Reactor Innovation Center

Smith P   scaledNicholas Smith is the Deputy Director of the National Reactor Innovation Center. In this role, he is responsible for supporting initiatives to provide resources to reactor innovators to test, demonstrate, and conduct performance assessments to accelerate the deployment of advanced nuclear technology concepts.

Smith most recently was the Generation IV nuclear reactor R&D program manager at Southern Company Services. In this role, he was responsible for highly leveraged collaboration with reactor designers, national labs, influencing policy makers, and early engagement with regulators. He was also the technical lead on a $40 million DOE Advanced Reactor Concept collaboration to develop TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR), a collaboration with TerraPower, Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Vanderbilt University.

As nuclear R&D program manager, he has created and managed work scope definition across multiple organizations to deliver nuclear R&D products such as uranium flow loops, molten salt corrosion tests, plutonium salt thermophysical properties, micro-reactor management systems with remote monitoring, and a 1MW electrically heated integrated effects test of the MCFR. He also led, on behalf of Southern, the proposal development to demonstrate the Westinghouse eVinci nuclear micro-reactor. Additionally, Smith led the Molten Salt Reactor Technology Working Group (MSR TWG) as Chairman where he was responsible for coordinating engagements with national labs, DOE, and NRC to work on regulatory issues, common technical challenges, and consensus standards related to MSRs.

Smith holds an Economics Degree from San Diego State University, an Electrical Engineering Degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a Master of Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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