The Electric Power Research Institute today announced Rita Baranwal as its new vice president of nuclear energy and chief nuclear officer. Baranwal succeeds Neil Wilmshurst, who was promoted to senior vice president of energy system resources in November.
Baranwal most recently served as the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for its Office of Nuclear Energy, where she managed the DOE's portfolio of nuclear research for existing and advanced reactors and new designs. Baranwal unexpectedly resigned from that position late last week.
Background: Prior to her DOE role, Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted more than 120 companies with state-of-the-art research and development expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure that supported faster, cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies.
Before GAIN, Baranwal led the creation and development of industry-changing technologies and managed characterization and hot cell laboratories as the director of technology development and application at Westinghouse. She is also an ANS Fellow.
At EPRI, Baranwal will lead a team of more than 200 researchers, scientists, engineers, and technical staff in providing objective, science-based nuclear R&D to more than 80 percent of the world's commercial nuclear fleet.
She said it: “I look forward to working with EPRI's incredibly talented team to find answers to pressing nuclear energy challenges during the clean energy transition,” Baranwal said. “Together we can accelerate new nuclear technology development, enable more flexible operation, and deliver value beyond electricity generation in a low-carbon energy future.”