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International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative: 2008 Annual Report

The International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (I-NERI) is an international, research-oriented initiative that supports the advancement of nuclear science and technology in the United States and the world. I-NERI promotes bilateral scientific and engineering research and development (R&D) with other nations. Innovative research performed under the I-NERI umbrella addresses key issues affecting the future use of nuclear energy and its global deployment by improving cost performance, enhancing safety, and increasing proliferation resistance of future nuclear energy systems. A link to the program can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) website: http://www.nuclear.gov.

This I-NERI 2008 Annual Report serves to inform interested parties about the program’s progress of current collaborative research projects. Following is an overview of each section:

Section 1 discusses background information on the events that led to the I-NERI program’s creation.

Section 2 presents the countries and international organizations participating in current I-NERI collaborative agreements. This section also provides an overview of program goals and objectives, a work scope summary for the three constituent program areas, and an overview of funding since the program’s inception.

Section 3 provides a summary of recent programmatic accomplishments and a list of participating organizations.

Section 4 presents details of the R&D work scope for current I-NERI collaborative projects with Brazil, Canada, the European Union (EU), France, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, respectively. For each participant, the report presents an index of projects and a summary of technical accomplishments achieved in fiscal year (FY) 2008. There are no current projects with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

At the end of the document, there is an index of I-NERI projects listed under the fiacal year in which they were awarded.

DOE-NE created I-NERI in FY 2001 in response to recommendations provided by the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, who issued a report entitled Powerful Partnerships: The Federal Role in International Cooperation on Energy Innovation. This report promoted “bilateral and multilateral research focused on advanced technologies for improving the cost, safety, waste management, and proliferation resistance of nuclear fission energy systems.” The report stated, “The costs of exploring new technological approaches that might deal effectively with the multiple challenges posed by conventional nuclear power are too great for the United States or any other single country to bear, so that a pooling of international resources is needed.”

The initial focus of the I-NERI program was on developing international collaborations, program planning, and project procurements. Since the inception of the program, 88 projects have been awarded, 54 of which have been completed. Both the number of awards and the consistency of project achievement demonstrate I-NERI’s success in fostering international collaboration.