The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducts research, development, and demonstration projects for the benefit of the public in the United States and internationally. As an independent, nonprofit organization for public interest energy and environmental research, we focus on electricity generation, delivery, and use in collaboration with the electricity sector, its stakeholders and others to enhance the quality of life by making electric power safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible.
The Nuclear Sector at EPRI conducts research supporting the safe, reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible use of nuclear power as a generation option. Through global collaboration with nuclear power plant operators, vendors, regulatory agencies, and other research organizations, EPRI develops cost-effective technologies, technical guidance, and knowledge transfer tools that help maximize the value of existing nuclear assets and inform the deployment of new technology.
What's the importance of the "Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy – A Global Forum"?
The nuclear industry has for many years been a vital part of the global energy mix to address climate change because it's a zero-carbon energy source. But in recent years, nuclear has been challenged economically because of changes in the electricity industry. The opportunity for the industry is to embrace new technologies to reduce the costs of generation while also continuing to maintain the safety of plants. But there are several barriers to deploying these innovative technologies. This forum will bring together key decision-makers to discuss those innovative technologies, the barriers to their deployment and to jointly commit to work on removing some of those barriers so nuclear can be a generation option to address climate change going forward. For EPRI, the forum will help guide and refine our nuclear research and development and allow us to more effectively collaborate with utilities, vendors and other industry organizations as they work to deploy innovative technologies in power plants.
Neil Wilmshurst is Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He has overall management and technical responsibility for $180 million in annual research.
Wilmshurst has been on a nuclear site in every continent that has a nuclear plant, none more so than in Japan over the past five years. The 2011 Fukushima event created unique technical needs and a demand for unprecedented collaboration in an industry that already practiced superb teamwork.
Wilmshurst joined EPRI in 2003 as a Senior Project Manager in the Plant Support Engineering program. In 2008, he became Director of the Plant Technology department, and was appointed as Vice President and CNO in 2010.
Before joining EPRI, Wilmshurst worked in a variety of nuclear utility engineering and maintenance roles with AmerGen at Three Mile Island Unit 1 and British Energy at the Sizewell B plant. Prior to joining the civil nuclear program Wilmshurst served for 13 years in the Royal Navy as a Nuclear Submarine Engineer Officer.
Neil M. Wilmshurst
Vice President and CNO
Electric Power Research Institute