Trump has announced his intent to nominate Rita Baranwal to be an
assistant secretary of energy (nuclear energy) at the Department of
Baranwal currently serves as the Director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN)initiative.
As Assistant Secretary of Energy, if confirmed by the Senate, Baranwal
will be heading the powerful Office of Nuclear Energy. She would also be
responsible for the department's nuclear technology research and the
development and management of the department's nuclear technology
Previously, she served as Director of Technology Development &
Application at Westinghouse and was a manager in Materials Technology at
Bechtel Bettis, where she led research and development in nuclear fuel
materials for US naval reactors.
Baranwal earned her BA in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT and
PhD from the University of Michigan. She serves on advisory boards for
MIT's Materials Research Laboratory and UC Berkeley's Nuclear
Last week, Trump had signed into law the Nuclear Energy Innovation
Capabilities Act which will speed up the development of advanced
reactors in the United States. The law eliminates some of the financial
and technological barriers standing in the way of nuclear innovation.
In a recent presentation, Baranwal said that US 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 blogpost last week.