Our Mission, Strategy, and Project Areas
The Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) is a non-profit, non-partisan, “think-and-do” tank based out of Washington D.C. Through policy analysis, research, outreach, and education, we are catalyzing the next era of nuclear energy.
Our mission is to help create the conditions for success for advanced nuclear energy so it can be part of the climate and energy solution.
Our team is passionate about clean energy and leaving the world better than we found it. We celebrate and value diversity and are committed to building an inclusive organization. We have backgrounds in engineering, science and technology, policy, law, and social sciences, and seek to combine our strengths with the input of other stakeholders and experts to make positive change in the nuclear arena.
We are a 501(c)(3) organization funded primarily through charitable grants and philanthropic donations from climate-concerned individuals and organizations.
With greater policy, investment and innovation, advanced nuclear energy can be a major part of the climate solution. NIA takes a whole-of-society approach, fostering collaboration between government, industry, civil society, and other nations to bring advanced reactors to market to reduce global emissions, provide domestic jobs, and support national security. Ultimately the success of the advanced reactor industry will depend on technical execution, business models, and private investment. Advanced nuclear energy vendors need a favorable environment for commercialization and innovation supported by domestic and foreign policy. Given the long timeframes for nuclear technology development and the short timeframes for climate action, policy pathways must be developed now.
NIA works to implement our strategy, through:
- technically-informed action research that features recommended policies, programs, and funding, as well as opportunities for innovation.
- support of entrepreneurialism through the Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp.
- improving discourse on nuclear energy through public communications and direct engagement with diverse stakeholders.
- providing educational information to policymakers, investors, and engaged members of the public.
The NIA’s main project areas directly support our strategy.
1. Regulatory Modernization
The NIA plays a major role in providing analysis of and engaging in Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing modernization to accommodate advanced nuclear reactors. Building on NIA’s early work in support of the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act that helped launch regulatory reform for advanced reactors, NIA continues to produce key analysis and recommendations for regulatory innovation.
2. Deep Decarbonization
Nuclear power’s historical role in providing a carbon-free backbone for the electric grid is well understood; however, many energy sector stakeholders do not recognize the full range of capabilities of advanced nuclear energy to contribute to broader decarbonization.
Advanced nuclear technology can enhance electricity market competitiveness through load following and integration with renewables, and non-power services include providing district heating, process heat, hydrogen production, desalination, and maritime shipping.
In all our engagements, NIA works to identify, analyze, and articulate the role of advanced reactors in deep decarbonization.
3. Federal and State Policy Analysis and Advocacy
Congressional action can enable advanced reactors by creating a facilitating regulatory environment, funding demonstration projects and foundational research, and ensuring advanced reactors are considered in broader energy policy proposals. As a nonpartisan entity with deep knowledge of nuclear technology and working relationships with advanced reactor developers, academia, and climate-minded NGOs, NIA has a unique perspective that policymakers and staff value.
In the United States, state-level policy also greatly influences industry structure and policy opportunities for advanced reactor development. NIA educates state lawmakers, regulators, and the public in support of state-level advanced reactor deployment policy.
4.Financial Sector Engagement and Entrepreneurship
Advanced reactor developers will not be able to complete designs and build reactors without sufficient financial resources. NIA seeks to engage and educate potential investors about the market opportunities of advanced reactors.
Innovation is built on a foundation of entrepreneurship. NIA works to enhance the broader advanced nuclear sector by organizing the annual Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp. The Bootcamp engages students and young professionals across diverse backgrounds and disciplines to teach innovation and entrepreneurship in the nuclear space. The Bootcamp is a critical industry pipeline for new talent and fresh ideas.