Energy innovation hub receives first funding renewal

Federal funding for the Consortium for the Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), an energy innovation hub involved with developing advances the operating technology of nuclear reactors, will be renewed, The U.S. Department of Energy said Jan. 30. 

CASL will help strengthen the role in which nuclear energy is used within the United States while continuing with research efforts in the advancement and utilization of low carbon energy sources.

“As President Obama made clear during his State of the Union Address, reducing carbon pollution and protecting the climate has to be a top priority,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. “CASL’s work to help further our understanding of nuclear reactors, improving safety while also making them more efficient, will help the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Throughout its first five years, CASL has led the way in creating innovative and state-of-the-art methods for improving the accuracy of simulation software, as well as deploying the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA), a virtual reactor that incorporates advanced physics-based models with modern computational structure.

Over the next five years, CASL is to receive up to $121.5 million in order to extend the hub's research and design department as well as to advance their own simulation and modeling technologies.

“The work being done at the Energy Innovation Hub at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an important part of our country’s ability to innovate and safely maintain our nuclear reactor fleet," U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said. "I’m glad to see that CASL remains a priority as we rely on nuclear power to provide the clean, cheap, reliable energy we need to power our 21st century.”

The Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department concerned with U.S. policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material.

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