Spreading the word about nuclear energy in Washington D.C.
For the first time in more than 20 years, the U.S. will soon be able to test certain types of advanced nuclear technologies and fuels domestically. This will help the United States sustain technology leadership in the area of advanced reactor systems.
In late February, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry launched the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) program in which the United States will accelerate advanced nuclear fuels, materials, instrumentation and sensors. The VTR program will allow the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to modernize its essential nuclear energy infrastructure by testing nuclear technologies and materials safely and efficiently here in the United States.
Argonne, along with Idaho National Laboratory, is co-leading the entire VTR program and is managing several of its key projects, including the VTR’s core design and safety. The laboratory’s deep supply of exceptional talent led to this leadership role, a topic that Principal Nuclear Engineer Bo Feng (NSE) explored in a DOE panel discussion last month in the nation’s capital.
Feng appeared in a four-person panel discussing “Jobs in Nuclear Energy: From Trades to Engineers and Physicists.” The event was part of the Office of Nuclear Energy’s “Atomic Wings” lunch-and-learn series, organized as “a bipartisan educational series for members of Congress, Hill staff and industry.”
The event began with remarks by two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gus Bilirakis (R-Florida) and Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tennessee), who spoke in support of nuclear energy. Rep. Bilirakis serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. Fleischmann, on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Appropriations.
Moderating the panel was Spencer Nelson, program director for energy innovation at Clear Path Foundation, a not-for-profit seeking to advance the cause for clean energy.
“I very much appreciated the opportunity to represent Argonne, and the audience was definitely interested in the national laboratory perspective,” Feng stated. “In the course of organizing for the event, I had the privilege to meet with DOE-NE staff and leadership, who were hard-working, engaged and interested in our research.”
Suresh Sunderrajan, interim associate laboratory director for Energy and Global Security, added, “Bo is a great ambassador for the lab and we look forward to many more opportunities to create greater awareness of the groundbreaking work going on here every day.”
By Kathryn Jandeska
Photo: Bo Feng shared the spotlight in March at the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s “Atomic Wings” lunch-and-learn event in Washington, D.C. From left: Bo Feng, DOE’s Michelle Harstine, who organized the panel, Wes Hines, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Carol Berrigan, Chris Colbert and Spencer Nelson.
Photo credit: DOE Office of Nuclear Energy