General Atomics Supports American Nuclear Society Task Force on Nuclear Energy

SAN DIEGO, 06 APRIL 2021 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that Dr. Christina Back, vice president of Nuclear Technologies and Materials (NTM) at GA-EMS, co-chaired a task force commissioned by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) on Public Investment in Nuclear Research and Development (R&D). Dr. Back with co-chair Dr. Mark Peters and a team of technical experts delivered a report titled, “The U.S. Nuclear R&D Imperative.” The report assessed the level of federal investments required to support nuclear energy R&D to realize meaningful demonstration and deployment of advanced nuclear reactors by the 2030s and beyond.

“GA-EMS has been at the forefront of advancing nuclear energy for decades,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “A robust nuclear industry with resources to innovate is imperative to facilitate lower energy costs and achieve reduced emissions goals. Investing in nuclear energy R&D now to modernize this unique low-carbon energy source will have significant clean energy, economic and national security benefits for generations to come.”

The task force report identifies clean energy, job creation and national security as the “nuclear imperative” to provide perspective in assessing funding levels and to underscore the value of nuclear energy for the nation. The report brings together assessments to serve the policymaking community and the task force advocates for a doubling of the current funding to an additional $10.3 billion over nine years to meet the U.S. nuclear energy technology sector needs.

This increase beyond today’s funding level is needed to accelerate technology development in the U.S. and keep infrastructure that enables modernization of the nuclear reactor fleet as well as the addition of new capabilities. For example, the increase would support the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) that the U.S. Department of Energy started last year to sustain the three phases of development: early R&D, Risk Reduction, and Demonstration. GA-EMS was selected for an ARDP Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) award, the early R&D phase of this program, for design of a modular reactor that will be compatible with distributed grids and work seamlessly with renewables. GA-EMS will deliver a complete conceptual design of a new 50-megawatt electric (MWe) Fast Modular Reactor (FMR) that provides safe, low-carbon electricity, and has the capability of incremental capacity additions. Subsequently, GA-EMS will demonstrate the FMR design by 2030 with anticipated commercial use by the mid-2030s.

“To meet the nation’s needs, nuclear energy research and development requires sustained support of a pipeline that matures nuclear technologies,” said Dr. Christina Back, vice president of Nuclear Technologies and Materials at GA-EMS. “New concepts and new materials are redefining how we can provide safe, clean energy that will augment the future power grid. A growth in investment starting today is critical to maturing advanced reactor technologies in a timely manner that will drive the U.S. to a clean energy future.”

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development, and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide. For further information, visit

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