Source: EPRI | Release | January 12, 2021
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) today announced Dr. Rita Baranwal as its new Vice President of Nuclear Energy and Chief Nuclear Officer.
Baranwal succeeds Neil Wilmshurst, who was promoted to Senior Vice President of Energy System Resources in November.
Baranwal most recently served as the U.S. Energy Department’s Assistant Secretary for its Office of Nuclear Energy, where she managed DOE’s portfolio of nuclear research for existing and advanced reactors and new designs.
Prior to that role, Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted over 120 companies with state-of-the-art R&D expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure that supported faster, cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies.
Before GAIN, Baranwal led the creation and development of industry-changing technologies and managed characterization and hot cell laboratories as the director of technology development and application at Westinghouse. She is also a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society.
“EPRI’s nuclear sector is a world-class resource for optimizing plant performance, sharing best practices, and applying innovative technology solutions for existing and emerging plants,” said EPRI President and CEO Arshad Mansoor. “We are thrilled to welcome a leader of Rita’s caliber as we collaborate with global nuclear operators to create a cleaner energy future.”
“Rita has a great strategic and global perspective, and is widely respected for her many achievements,” said Wilmshurst. “I am confident her broad expertise and knowledge of the industry are going to inspire and further enable the EPRI nuclear research team’s work and the value they provide to our members and society.”
At EPRI, Baranwal will lead a team of more than 200 researchers, scientists, engineers and technical staff who provide objective, science-based nuclear R&D to more than 80 percent of the world’s commercial nuclear fleet.
“I look forward to working with EPRI’s incredibly talented team to find answers to pressing nuclear energy challenges during the clean energy transition,” said Baranwal. “Together we can accelerate new nuclear technology development, enable more flexible operation, and deliver value beyond electricity generation in a low-carbon energy future.”
Baranwal joined EPRI this week and will be based in Charlotte.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery, and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers and experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety, and the environment. EPRI members represent 90% of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States with international participation extending to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Dallas, Texas; Lenox, Mass.; and Washington, D.C.