DOE Pulse
  • Number 436  |
  • April 6, 2015

Nationwide brainstorm: Workshops focus on nuclear energy innovation

Energy for Humanity’s Kirsty Gogan at the Boise workshop.

Energy for Humanity’s Kirsty Gogan at the
Boise workshop.

At the heart of the modern energy debate is a struggle between the need for more energy globally, while simultaneously achieving lower emissions. Nuclear energy is uniquely positioned to help respond to these dueling necessities, but innovative advancements must overcome considerable barriers. In general all sides of the polarizing topic agree that the nuclear energy sector could benefit from significant innovation.

DOE's Idaho National Laboratory recently organized more than 120 global energy experts in six cities across the U.S. to discuss innovation in nuclear energy. The goals: gather input from experts to help improve strategy for innovating nuclear technologies and  start an ongoing dialogue among experts and laypersons alike.

Some of the themes that emerged from the six sites included:

  • Improving communication
  • Increasing private investment
  • Designating test beds
  • Modernizing regulation
  • Stabilizing federal funding
  • Embracing advanced manufacturing technology

Going forward, these and other emerging themes will be fleshed out, developed into detailed proposals and presented to key decision-makers for consideration.

For those who wish to share their ideas for nuclear innovation, the workshop established a web page that allows suggestions to be captured from people who were not participants at the workshops. Submissions will be accepted through July.

The intended public dialogue has already received a strong start. Activity on social media during and just after the workshops surpassed 4 million interactions, driven in part by an Associated Press article that was published in news media outlets spanning 31 states and eight countries, including in the New York Times, the Washington Post and ABC News. Follow @InnovationWksp and #nukeinnovation to keep up with the latest news.

[Suzanne Baker, 208.526.7785,]