The new U.S. Nuclear Nexus web portal aims to connect U.S. civil nuclear developers with informational resources and expertise of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), offering a central access point for those seeking to deploy this technology on a global scale.
Recently launched by NNSA in collaboration with DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, Nexus is a website with a human interface for U.S. civilian nuclear companies, their partners and academia to engage directly with NNSA resources and access both NNSA guidance and expertise.
“U.S. Nuclear Nexus fills a critical need for a single resource so the U.S. nuclear industry can navigate and engage with NNSA on crucial deployment process issues.” — Erna Gevondyan, Argonne National Laboratory, energy systems risk analyst
Nexus is maintained by Argonne, a key stakeholder in developing the website. The portal is a repository for timely, relevant and up-to-date information on the four key pillars for U.S. industry and academia: international nuclear security, international nuclear safeguards, export control compliance and proliferation resistance in nuclear systems.
“The U.S. nuclear industry expressed a desire to have a ‘one-stop-shop’ to connect with DOE/NNSA to avoid potential gaps when engaging offices individually,” said Allison Bennett Irion, group leader, nuclear/radiological proliferation analysis & modeling and principal systems engineer for Argonne. “The U.S. Nuclear Nexus serves this role for DOE/NNSA. It helps to demystify aspects of how the U.S. nuclear industry can connect with NNSA.”
As U.S. companies engage with international markets, understanding and applying U.S. export control laws and regulations and incorporating international nuclear safeguards (i.e., safeguards by design), international nuclear security (i.e., security by design), and proliferation resistance in nuclear systems are crucial for streamlined nuclear technology deployments.
Nexus encourages integration of international nuclear safeguards and security — along with safety — early in the design process. Additionally, Nexus facilitates industry and academia understanding of export control compliance laws and regulation. Because U.S. laws, regulations and U.S. and international standards are complex, early engagement in the deployment process is critical.
To achieve this integration, Nexus also offers a human interface to connect users directly to the relevant NNSA program offices.
“A lot of the work we do at Argonne is in collaboration with the U.S. nuclear industry, so it’s important that these companies understand the rules regarding international exports or engagements as early in the process as possible,” said Bo Feng, manager, reactor and fuel cycle analysis at Argonne.
Nexus supports NNSA’s nuclear nonproliferation mission.
“U.S. Nuclear Nexus fills a critical need for a single resource so the U.S. nuclear industry can navigate and engage with NNSA on crucial deployment process issues,” said Erna Gevondyan, an Argonne energy systems risk analyst. “Argonne is home to this sought-after solution that aims to help further advance U.S. civilian nuclear industry’s global leadership.” She added, “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the U.S. civilian nuclear industry using this new tool.”
Established by Congress in 2000, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit nnsa.energy.gov for more information.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.