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International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative: 2012 Annual Report

Nuclear energy represents the single largest carbon-free baseload source of energy in the United States, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the electricity generated and over 60 percent of our low-carbon production. Worldwide, nuclear power generates 14 percent of global electricity. Continually increasing demand for clean energy both domestically and across the globe, combined with research designed to make nuclear power ever-safer and more cost-effective, will keep nuclear in the energy mix for the foreseeable future.

U.S. researchers are collaborating with nuclear scientists and engineers around the world to develop new technologies that will lower costs, maximize safety, minimize proliferation risk, and handle used fuel and radioactive waste. These are international concerns that the international nuclear community must address together. Just as all nations stand to benefi t from nuclear energy, the risk of nuclear proliferation or the consequences of an accident know no national borders. Bilateral and multilateral collaborations build international consensus, capitalize on limited resources, and promote innovation far more effectively than any one nation can do alone.

The International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative, or I-NERI, is perhaps even more relevant today than at its establishment. Designed to foster bilateral international  partnerships, I-NERI crosses both geographical and institutional boundaries, forging teams from universities, industry, and government organizations including federal laboratories.

I-NERI agreements have resulted in collaborative research and development that investigates next-generation nuclear systems and fuel cycles, helping to determine tomorrow’s solutions to today’s challenges. I-NERI research teams have made substantial contributions to the knowledge base that directs critical decisions about nuclear energy.

This annual report provides information on how these efforts are collectively helping to establish a solid foundation for advanced nuclear technologies. One project at a time, the global nuclear community is building tomorrow’s nuclear energy systems and technologies.