Meet the MEITNER Resource Team

In June 2018, ARPA-E announced the Modeling-Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration (MEITNER) program. As part of ARPA-E’s first fission nuclear energy program, MEITNER projects are developing new technologies to support lower cost, more flexible advanced nuclear reactors.

Advanced nuclear reactors are a category unto themselves. All nuclear power plants in the U.S. today use the same fundamental technology, called a light-water reactor. These employ fresh water as a coolant and moderator to maintain operating temperature and control the reactor’s energy production. Advanced nuclear power plants do not use light-water, instead using coolants such as gas, molten salt, or sodium; there are also solid-core reactors. All of these technologies may offer improved operational flexibility, availability for heat applications, and stronger market relevance. If successful, nuclear energy’s next generation of reactor technologies could deliver reliable and affordable energy to Americans everywhere.

First, however, there are many challenges to overcome. Today’s nuclear plants are expensive to build and operate, and any effort to increase nuclear’s competitiveness will require new ways of building and operating tomorrow’s plants to reduce the cost of achieving quality and reliability. MEITNER projects are setting out to do just that by supporting advanced reactor technology with more efficient approaches to construction, integrated safety systems, and easy to produce components that all work to make nuclear an appealing, emissions-free energy source.

ARPA-E understands MEITNER projects have particularly difficult work to execute, so the agency assembled the first-ever Resource Team to help projects test and validate their concepts. Resource Team members come from the Energy Department’s National Laboratories—one of the largest scientific research enterprises in the world—to provide critical guidance and modeling resources that enable MEITNER teams to simulate the effectiveness of their ideas long before building real-world versions.

To thank those team members working to advance nuclear energy and celebrate this ARPA-E first, it is our pleasure to introduce the MEITNER resource team:

MEITNER Resource Team

Thanks to this team of experts, MEITNER projects can move forward knowing they have access to the best scientific and technical resources in the world, clearing the way for advances that help usher in a new age of competitiveness for nuclear energy.