ANS, Breakthrough Institute request Part 53 workshops

June 16, 2022, 2:55PMNuclear News

ANS and the Breakthrough Institute yesterday submitted a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the agency’s ongoing efforts to create a regulatory infrastructure for the development and commercialization of advanced reactors, a mandate of the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, signed into law in January 2019.

ANS Annual Meeting: Nuclear power innovation for decarbonization

June 15, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
Panelists (from left) Adam Stein, Jon Ball, Mike Laufer, and Michl Binderbauer during the Breaking Through: Assessing the Current State and Prospects of Nuclear Innovation in the Race to Decarbonize session at the ANS Annual Meeting.

If nuclear innovators are in a race to decarbonize, it is a race with one finish line—affordable, clean, and reliable power—and many ways to get there. Over 40 fission developers and 20 fusion developers are in the running, and while attendees of the June 13 ANS Annual Meeting executive session on Breaking Through: Assessing the Current State and Prospects of Nuclear Innovation in the Race to Decarbonize heard from representatives of just three of those companies, they presented very different designs and deployment approaches, aptly reflecting the broader diversity of nuclear power innovation.

Session chair Adam Stein, director of nuclear energy innovation at the Breakthrough Institute, welcomed representatives from an advanced non–light water reactor developer (Mike Laufer, Kairos Power), a small modular light water reactor developer (Jon Ball, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy), and a fusion power developer (Michl Binderbauer, TAE Technologies). Together they explored the challenge of engineering a significant commercial scale-up of advanced nuclear technology by the end of the decade, tackling questions of cost, schedule, supply chain, regulation, and more.

Former NRC chairman Allison Macfarlane—nuclear agnostic or opponent?

November 17, 2021, 3:02PMANS Nuclear Cafe



As noted by Newswire yesterday, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Allison Macfarlane describes herself as “agnostic” on the subject of nuclear energy. In the view of some, however, there is a more accurate way to describe Macfarlane’s nuclear stance.

In a November 15 blog post, Breakthrough Institute cofounder Ted Nordhaus suggests that Macfarlane can be considered a face of the modern antinuclear movement, the typical representative of which, he says, is not “a hippie with a No Nukes sign,” but rather “a highly credentialed progressive policy wonk, a lawyer, or academic, or journalist, who often claims not to be opposed to nuclear energy at all.”

Congress urged to include advanced nuclear in clean-energy tax credits

October 13, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research center, last week sent a letter to congressional leaders arguing that advanced nuclear energy needs to be included in legislation proposing an expansion of federal tax credits for clean energy.

Opposition to VTR is “dogmatism” we can’t afford, says Breakthrough Institute

September 10, 2021, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe
A rendition of the VTR. (Graphic: DOE)

In an op-ed published online yesterday in The Hill, Ted Nordhaus and Adam Stein of the Breakthrough Institute pick apart arguments made against funding for the construction of the Versatile Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory. Nordhaus and Stein contend that opposition to the VTR has been led by “entrenched opponents of nuclear energy” who “fear that innovation of the sort that many U.S. nuclear startups are presently betting on might give the technology a second life.”