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Message from the Chair

Welcome back to the TRTR newsletter. I’d like to start by thanking Amber Johnson, as the new TRTR Secretary, for restarting this important communication tool. Of course we still need our email listserver (I hope you’re subscribed) to have faster information sharing and rapid response but the collection found in the newsletter has always been valuable for more detailed inspection trends, general information and opinions. TRTR has been around for over 40 years and our membership includes U.S. and international research reactors. TRTR as an organization works more effectively when we are actually organized.

Many of our U.S. member reactors operate within a university system supporting teaching and research. As you well know, the Department of Energy (DOE) supports these facilities by providing reactor fuel and grants or infrastructure or instrumentation upgrades.

This year, due to a shift in priorities within limited budgets, the reactor infrastructure budget was cut for FY19. It is very important that university research reactors (URR) coordinate with your nuclear program or department leadership to ensure these important teaching facilities are funded adequately by the university and the government to operate reliably for as long as they’re needed.

Brenden Heidrich, from INL NSUF, is coordinating a workshop in Idaho July 16 and 17 to collect data on the material condition and equipment needs of the URRs that can be provided to DOE and help inform potential budget needs for the nation’s essential nuclear education infrastructure. Please respond to the questionnaire when you receive it and try to attend or have some representative come to the workshop in July. The results of the workshop will help NSUF understand and communicate the URR infrastructure needs to DOE.

Sean O’Kelly
Associate Laboratory Director,
Advanced Test Reactor Complex
Idaho National Laboratory