DOE News Release
Oct. 18, 2006

Teri Ehresman, 208-520-6252,

Note to editors: jpg format photo of David Hebditch, director of Center for Nuclear Systems Design and Analysis, available from John Walsh, 526-8646,

INL teams with industry to open advanced nuclear design center

Photo: David Hebditch

David Hebditch

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is joining forces with international engineering firm Burns & Roe and nuclear fuels analysis software leader Studsvik Scandpower to establish the Center for Nuclear Systems Design and Analysis (CNSDA) at INL.

In cooperation with the INL's Center for Advanced Energy Studies, CNSDA will become a research, design and development campus where scientists will use cutting edge technology to develop advanced nuclear fuel cycle and reactor concepts and designs, and is expected to perform a vital role in helping new nuclear reactor technology make the transition from blueprint to working product.

"Each entity is bringing something to the table," said Pete Planchon, director of Nuclear Industry Programs for INL's Nuclear Programs division. "Burns & Roe and Studsvik will contribute experienced personnel to direct CNSDA work, while INL will host the center and make its considerable in-house capabilities available."

CNSDA will begin by integrating digital design technology, reactor, and nuclear system simulations with advanced virtual reality software. Designs of next generation reactors and nuclear fuel cycle facilities will be developed and inspected in virtual reality before being built physically. These techniques will help test new reactor concepts and also train next generation nuclear operators through total immersion into virtual reality environments.

The mission of CNSDA reflects recent initiatives by the Bush administration to reestablish the United States as a leader in the peaceful use of nuclear technology, especially as the world begins to look to nuclear energy to help remedy global warming, growing energy demand and a declining supply of fossil fuels.

Burns & Roe has appointed David Hebditch to direct CNSDA with Kord Smith of Studsvik Scandpower will serve as deputy director. Hebditch will report directly to Dr. Phillip Finck, the INL associate laboratory director for Nuclear Programs.

Initially located in the Engineering Research Office Building at INL's Science and Technology Campus, CNSDA will move to the new Center for Advanced Energy Studies building when it is finished in 2008. An opening ceremony for CNSDA will be Oct.18, in Idaho Falls.


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