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Energy Systems and Infrastructure Analysis

Energy Production Safety and Sustainability

Proven and ongoing fundamental support of federal agencies and industry.

Argonne’s Upstream Energy Analysis group has in-depth expertise in the trends and challenges of historical and forward-looking, fast-changing energy systems. An extensive understanding of energy systems’ lifecycles is paired with unique research facilities and resources to support the priorities of industry and regulatory stakeholders.

Unique Expertise and Capabilities 

As a Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, Argonne has a wide range of resources and unique state-of-the-art facilities essential to helping ensure the safety and environmental sustainability of energy systems. Scientists and researchers from various disciplines combine expertise to test and advance innovative technologies and processes, and validate or improve industry practices and standards through both analytical and experimental capabilities.  

Argonne provides fundamental technical support for: 

  • Facility- and system-level safety and risk assessment in support of industry standard development or safety analyses; 
  • Validation of industry standards through engineering and scientific experiments; 
  • Regulatory, technology, and best practices analyses;
  • Technology-driven systems assessments to support environmental protection balanced with sustainable growth, and  
  • Technical assistance to regulatory processes through processing, analysis, and synthesis of public comments to proposed rules. 

Cross-laboratory resources include research and expertise at the leading edge of engineering, metallurgy, supercomputing, policy analysis, environmental science and nuclear technologies.  

Argonne’s premiere user facilities, such as the Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials, as well as the Advanced Leadership Computing Facility contribute to in-depth experimental studies and evaluations that scrutinize and analyze equipment and systems at the nanoscale and smaller levels. Various lifecycle assessment tools and models, such as the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) tool – the gold standard for evaluating energy emissions and impacts – are used to advance industry safety and sustainability.  

Success Path Approach

Argonne’s Success Path approach is a novel application of risk assessment that goes beyond traditional risk analysis and combines with FMECA (Failure modes, effects and criticality analysis) to focus on equipment safety, process safety, and equipment reliability as they directly relate to evolving industry standards. Past efforts have established an important shift toward the risk-informed decision-making framework needed to uphold and improve process safety.