About Guest Blogger Leslie Dewan

Dr. Leslie Dewan is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Transatomic Power, a nuclear reactor design company based in Cambridge, MA, that is developing the next generation of sustainable nuclear power plants. Leslie received her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT, and also holds S.B. degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. She is a member of the MIT Corporation, MIT’s board of trustees, and was named a TIME Magazine "30 People Under 30 Changing the World," an MIT Technology Review "Innovator Under 35," a National Geographic Explorer, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Simulation Used to Spur Design Development for Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is a key player in the future of clean energy, and multiple companies are pursuing new technologies to maximize nuclear’s contribution to the clean energy space. Founded in 2011 and based in Cambridge, MA, Transatomic Power is an advanced nuclear technology startup developing and commercializing a molten salt reactor (MSR), or a nuclear reactor whose fuel is in liquid, rather than solid, form. This technology, originally developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the 1960’s, offers multiple safety and cost benefits over traditional nuclear reactors, in which the fuel is in the form of solid pellets cooled by water.

Tranatomic’s MSR design builds on the original work at ORNL and adds a few innovative new features that reduce the reactor’s size and, as a result, it’s cost – a huge factor in building new nuclear power plants. Though the development process is a long one, the world needs a larger capacity for clean energy generation, and it’s this ultimate goal that drives the Transatomic team forward. Continue reading