Ashley Finan, Director of the National Reactor Innovation Center
Nicholas Smith, Deputy Director of the National Reactor Innovation Center
Nicholas 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.