Indian-American Rita Baranwal to Head Trump's Nuclear Energy DivisionTop Stories

October 04, 2018 11:07
Indian-American Rita Baranwal to Head Trump's Nuclear Energy Division

(Image source from: Third Way)

The United States President Donald Trump, days after signing a new legislation to accelerate the development of advanced reactors has roped in a top Indian-American expert for a key administrative position in the development of energy.  

Trump has announced his intent to nominate Rita Baranwal to be an assistant secretary of energy (nuclear energy) at the Department of Energy.

Baranwal, who currently serves as the Director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative, will be heading the powerful Office of Nuclear Energy as an Assistant Secretary of Energy if made official by the Senate.

She would as well be accountable for the department's nuclear technology research and the development and management of the department's nuclear technology infrastructure.

Earlier, she served as Director of Technology Development & Application at Westinghouse and was a manager in Materials Technology at Bechtel Bettis, where she commenced research and development in nuclear fuel materials for the U.S. naval reactors.

Baranwal earned her Bachelor of Arts in Materials Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Michigan.

She serves on advisory boards for MIT's Materials Research Laboratory and University of California Berkeley's Nuclear Engineering Department.

Earlier this week, Trump had signed into law the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act which will speed up the development of advanced reactors in the U.S.

The law abolishes some of the technological and financial barriers standing in the way of nuclear innovation.

In a recent presentation, Baranwal said that the U.S. nuclear industry is equipped to lead the world in deployment of innovative nuclear technologies to supply urgently needed abundant clean energy both domestically and globally.

"The unconventional and energetic spirit that created the commercial nuclear energy industry will again transform our country. New, smaller and more efficient reactors are being developed to combat climate change and meet the energy demand," Baranwal said in a blog post last week.

By Sowmya Sangam

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