ARPA-E Energy Briefs highlight innovations and programs

August 7, 2020, 7:28AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is at work developing and demonstrating novel energy technologies and connecting those technologies with private-sector investors. The researchers and innovators behind ARPA-E want to tell you all about it in a series of “Energy Briefs” available through the agency’s YouTube channel.

Leading with advanced nuclear: One of the first Energy Briefs featured Rachel Slaybaugh, ARPA-E program director for advanced fission, talking about how the agency is working to help make the next generation of nuclear reactors more efficient and cost-effective through programs including MEITNER (Modeling-Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration) and GEMINA (Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets). Those programs are designed to “get nuclear over the line to be really relevant in solving our problems,” as Slaybaugh put it her recorded conversation with Joel Fetter, an ARPA-E Technology-to-Market support coordinator. Some of the potential barriers to advanced reactor deployment targeted by ARPA-E include capital costs, operations and maintenance costs, and unpredictable construction schedules.

A broad scope: ARPA-E does not focus exclusively on nuclear technology, and neither will the agency’s Energy Briefs. According to ARPA-E Technology-to-Market Advisor Mary Yamada, who introduced the Energy Briefs series in an installment that featured a special appearance from ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski, Energy Briefs will focus on technologies, commercialization efforts, and a variety of other topics of interest to the entire energy research and development community. The videos are short (coming in at five to seven minutes), informal, and informative.

There’s more: Another Energy Brief features ARPA-E Technology-to-Market Associate Director James Zahler speaking with Yamada about SCALEUP (Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential) and the SCALEUP Virtual Workshop Series planned for August 11 and 12. For more information, view the SCALEUP Energy Brief or visit

Look for more Energy Briefs to come on the topics of energy technology, transitioning technologies from the lab to the market, and new ARPA-E programs.

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