Citrine Informatics Selected for $3.1M Award for Data-Driven Development of Safe, Efficient Nuclear Waste Storage Materials by the Us Department of Energy

  • Citrine Informatics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and University of North Texas were selected for a 3 year, $3.1M award from the US Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop safe, efficient nuclear waste storage materials.
  • The ARPA-E project will develop next generation nuclear waste processes and storage materials in an accelerated timeline using a state-of-the-art machine learning and simulation-guided R&D approach.
  • The project is expected to result in the development of safe, efficient materials to usher in the next generation of nuclear reactors for clean power generation.

Citrine Informatics, the leading provider of AI and smart data management software for materials and chemicals development, announced that they were selected for a $3.1M award from the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) Optimizing Nuclear Waste and Advanced Reactor Disposal Systems (ONWARDS) program to apply state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and physics-based-simulation techniques to rapidly develop next-generation nuclear energy waste storage materials.

Citrine will collaborate with Drs. Brian Riley and John Vienna at Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL), experts in nuclear waste management technologies, and Prof. Jincheng Du at University of North Texas, who will contribute ceramic and glass simulation and modeling expertise to design novel, safer nuclear waste storage materials.

“By combining the knowledge and capability of the top experts in nuclear waste manufacturing and glass and ceramic simulation with our data-driven methods, our ARPA-E program promises to disrupt the nuclear waste industry by designing more efficient, less expensive, and safer waste forms in only three years,” said Dr. James Saal, Citrine’s Director of External Research Programs and the Principal Investigator of the program.

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The ARPA-E ONWARDS Program exists to fund the development of the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors (AR) to enhance the safety, reduce the cost, and increase the efficiency of nuclear power generation. The future deployment of ARs will ensure that the U.S. meets its goals of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and facilitates U.S. energy security and global thought leadership in advanced nuclear energy.

To enable the growth of advanced nuclear energy, ONWARDS seeks to develop and demonstrate breakthrough technologies that will facilitate a 10x reduction in AR waste volume generation or repository footprint. In addition, ONWARDS aims to advance development of high-performance AR waste forms while maintaining exemplary safeguards standards and global back-end costs in the accepted range of $1/megawatt-hour.

“Safe, efficient nuclear power generation will play a critical role in reducing US and global CO2 emissions. This program aligns perfectly with Citrine’s mission to enable a greener, more efficient world by accelerating the development and deployment of next-generation materials,” said Dr. Bryce Meredig, Citrine’s Chief Science Officer. “The nuclear industry urgently needs a reliable, predictable path to faster materials innovation, and we plan to demonstrate such a path in ONWARDS with our AI-guided approach and a team of world-class collaborators.”

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