EPRI names Rita Baranwal as new VP of nuclear, CNO

Baranwal

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.

DOE releases blueprint for advancing U.S. nuclear

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) last week released its Strategic Vision report, outlining its plan to support the current U.S. reactor fleet, demonstrate the latest innovations in nuclear energy technologies, and explore new market opportunities for nuclear energy.

The 36-page document identifies five goals to address challenges in the nuclear energy sector, help realize the potential of advanced technology, and leverage the unique role of the federal government in sparking innovation. Each goal also includes supporting objectives to ensure progress.

FY21 appropriations bills released, funds for U reserve included

The Senate Appropriations Committee last week released all 12 fiscal year 2021 appropriation measures and subcommittee allocations, including an Energy and Water Development bill that provides $150 million for establishing a U.S. uranium reserve, the same amount requested by the Trump administration in its February budget estimate.

The committee’s Republican majority decided to bypass the usual markup and full Senate consideration of the bills and instead proceed directly to negotiations with the House, in hopes of passing an omnibus bill by the December 11 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

Shelby

“By and large, these bills are the product of bipartisan cooperation among members of the committee,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee. “As negotiations with the House begin in earnest, I look forward to working with Chairwoman Lowey, Vice Chairman Leahy, and Ranking Member Granger to resolve our differences in a bipartisan manner.”

Two projects selected for DOE funding awards

The Department of Energy announced on April 28 that the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) and the Southern Nuclear Development LLC (SND) would receive funding for their advanced nuclear technology development projects. The two awards—one to support site preparation for a future domestic advanced reactor demonstration project and the other for an advanced reactor regulatory licensing grant—have a total value of $5.4 million.

President Signs Pro-Nuclear Legislation