2018 | ANNUAL REPORT 7 FROMTHE NSUF DIRECTOR J. Rory Kennedy Director (208) 526-5522 rory.kennedy@inl.gov Once again (and I never tire of telling you this) our FiscalYear 2018 was another outstanding year for the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) program. Overall, we provided about $17.6 million in new funding for projects, up from $15.1 million in FiscalYear 2017, providing even more opportunities to nuclear energy researchers to advance our understanding of the behavior of nuclear fuels and materials under irradiation. Over 62 percent of our new awards went to university researchers and first time applicants represented over 50 percent of our new awards. We continued to see the number of RapidTurnaround Experiment (RTE) proposals increase (280 in FY-18 versus 180 in FY-17) and were able to award 105 projects (versus 92 in FY-17).Although the number of awards increased, our awards to proposals ratio decreased.We hope to increase our funding for the RTEs in FiscalYear 2019. NSUF also awarded almost $9.5 million in funding to nine Consolidated Innova- tive Nuclear Research (CINR) projects ranging in costs from about $180,000 to almost $2.1 million.These larger and longer term projects will address even more wide reaching questions, covering topics from in-pile instrumentation to additive manufacturing to separate effects and model validation of nuclear fuels to irradiation behavior of core and structural materials. and Industrial Strategy of the UK. In addition, the NSUF was invited by the Organisation for Economic Coopera- tion and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD NEA) to speak at the Nuclear Science CommitteeWorkshop “Enhancing Experimental Support for Advancements in Nuclear Fuels and Materials.”The goal of this invitation was to showcase the NSUF’s success at utilizing experimental infrastructure and serve as a possible template for other international user organizations. The NSUF will continue to increase its impact and grow the nuclear research community through presentations, exhibits, and dedicated NSUF sessions at conferences and meetings. I am proud of the important role NSUF plays in nuclear energy research and look forward to what is to come such as our deployment of CoMET, the Combined Materials ExperimentToolkit, as an aid to our users in developing projects and the implementation of FaMUS, the Fuels and Materials Understanding Scale, developed to better quantify the state of understanding of materials studied through NSUF research. J. Rory Kennedy Interest from industry groups was maintained in FY-18.The NSUF strongly encourages applications from industry and small businesses to better the scientific understanding related to their critical issues.The NSUF works closely with and is a major contributor to the Gateway forAccelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative whose mission is to address universal issues constraining the domestic nuclear industry.We anticipate that this relation- ship will foster ever more attention from industry researchers. The continued increase in both the quantity and quality of NSUF funded research has led to a concomitant increase, yet again, of published articles. In FY-18, research funded by NSUF produced 96 peer reviewed publica- tions and 65 conference proceedings. All totaled, NSUF research has been published in 87 different journals with the Journal of Nuclear Materials by far the journal of choice. Based on acknowl- edgements to NSUF, we maintain an H-index score of 17. International awareness of NSUF continues to grow.The NSUF became part of the EnablingTechnologies Working Group of the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Cooperative Action Plan between the US-DOE and the Department for Business, Energy,