New website a gateway into nuclear energy

September 8, 2021

By Donna Kemp Spangler

The latest information about advanced nuclear energy is now a mouse click away.

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) just unveiled Milestones in Advanced Nuclear, an interactive website that provides the latest news in the U.S. nuclear power industry.

GAIN is industry’s gateway into the national labs. Now GAIN is also the gateway into nuclear news.

“Advanced nuclear has been building momentum over the past five years and it is getting difficult to stay current with the latest developments from all facets of our industry,” GAIN Director Christine King said. “The website offers a concise description of each item, and why this milestone is important and links to the most recent news for that item.”

The milestones were developed with the help of more than 100 people across the U.S. representing the nuclear energy industry, utility executives, and lawmakers.

“This website is a great tool to see our progress as an industry,” said Peter Hastings, vice president of Kairos Power, an advanced nuclear reactor developer. “It is extremely helpful to show not only our company’s progress but also that of other advanced reactor developers as well as the industry as a whole. This website makes it easy to see the immense opportunity advanced nuclear represents for our clean energy future.”

GAIN contracted with Envoy Public Labs, a national market research and stakeholder engagement firm, to develop the website. This easy-to-use tool captures more than 70 key industry achievements in technology, development, policy, regulation, finances, and integrated systems. The filter feature allows users to search for specific topics.

“We designed the site to meet a need that kept surfacing in our outreach – a trustworthy, one-stop-shop for news and information about advanced reactors,” said Taylor Stevenson, chief executive officer of Envoy Public Labs.

To keep the information factual, relevant and timely, users can suggest new milestones or request corrections. In addition, GAIN will assist connecting users with an expert associated with a milestone.

Among the milestones:

  • In December 2019, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy reached a funding milestone, a 53% increase over the last five years for early stage energy technology, opening the door for emerging energy technology.
  • In June 2021, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign partnered with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation  to construct a high-temperature gas-cooled microreactor on campus. If approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the micro-modular reactor would replace the university’s coal and natural gas energy sources, which currently supply 70-75% of the electricity and heat on campus.
  • In April 2020, the NRC began a rulemaking process that provides a much-needed update to the current licensing framework for next-generation advanced nuclear reactors.

“There are some truly exciting advanced nuclear announcements that unfortunately are missed by stakeholders, legislators, and the public,” said Nicholas McMurray, senior program director for Nuclear Energy at ClearPath, a nonprofit that advocates for clean energy. “Having an interactive tool to showcase breakthroughs will make it easier to keep up with how these new technologies can provide clean energy and more.”

Alice Caponiti, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Reactor Technologies, said the website provides an opportunity to engage the public about advanced nuclear energy.

“As always, GAIN helps us find new ways to connect across the industry by creating a tool that allows a ‘new to nuclear’ stakeholder come up to speed quickly and follow their own curiosity.”

GAIN was established by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy to provide the nuclear community with access to resources and financial support to accelerate the commercialization of innovative nuclear technologies. GAIN is launching the Milestones in Advanced Nuclear website through its social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


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Posted September 8, 2021

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