b"S T R AT E G I C P L A NGRAND CHALLENGESCHANGING THE FUTURED isruptive advances in science and technology have defined the economic landscape of today's world; we seek to leverage, extend, and build upon these advances to realize our vision of nuclear energy sustainment and expanded applications. Two areas of particular opportunity capture our imagination: development of techniques and approaches to revolutionize discovery and validation of new materials, and the disruptive potential of microreactor systems to change the paradigm for nuclear energy deployment and utilization. Each of these areas provides a grand challenge that, if successfully engaged, could dramatically alter the cost, operations performance, and applicability of future nuclear systems. To these ends, we will establish multidisciplinary initiatives to inspire, engage, and advance our research, leading to a new era of U.S. nuclear energy leadership. These initiatives, built of the Grand Challenges, are described below.1) Fission Battery Initiative. This initiative will lead towill assume a clean regulatory slate, followed by design of greatly simplified operations, dramatically reduced operationswhat an appropriate regulatory structure would be for such costs, and expanded market applications for nuclear energy.a revolutionary system, and consider implications for export The notion of a fission battery conveys a vision focusedand nonproliferation paradigms.on realizing very simple plug-and-play small nuclear2)Accelerated Nuclear Materials Discovery and systems that can be integrated into a variety of applicationsQualification. Develop a synergistic set of techniques, requiring affordable, reliable electricity and/or heat. Central toinfrastructure, and tools that markedly accelerate the discovery realizing this vision is embedding intelligence into the reactorand validation process for advanced materials. Pursue and systems, creating smart nuclear systems. Applying rapidlycombine innovations in combinatorial materials synthesis, evolving design and simulation capabilities, along with themultiscale materials modeling, predictive analytics, and embedded intelligence approaches, will open new frontiers instatistical analyses to create new and improve existing materials design, manufacturing, and operations of microreactors. Thefor nuclear systems applications. As part of the National resulting smart energy modules will allow very affordable,Reactor Innovation Center, develop and deploy a global highly efficient nuclear energy modules to be deployed in alibrary of advanced fuels and materials options, performance variety of energy applications. Our approach will incorporatecharacteristics, and advanced tools and techniques for nuclear advances in materials, sensing, diagnostic techniques,energy applications and component manufacturing. advanced controls, real-time risk analyses, and multilayered and multiscale hybrid physics-artificial intelligence (AI)The library will enhance the competitive position for U.S. techniques being developed in other industries to achieveindustry innovation and speed to market, incorporating unmatched resilience, affordability, operational simplicity, andexperimentally and computationally improved historical application relevance; in other words, a fission battery. Thesedata on existing materials; deploy data synthesis and smart, flexible systems will exhibit unparalleled transparencyanalysis methodologies that reduce time necessary to in system-state knowledge, opening a range of possibleproduce performance data and reduce data uncertainty; exciting functionalities including predictive maintenance,and accommodate development of new materials using autonomous or semiautonomous operations, remote control,combinatorial materials and broader analytic science adaptive anti-fragile behavior, optimal life-cycle managementtechniques and research processes to substantially speed and a dramatic reduction in operations staff. Techniquesinnovation to qualification time. The data center and that lead to these functionalities will be developed andlibrary of techniques and tools will provide researchers and demonstrated by designing and computationally creating andindustry a game-changing tool in nuclear systems design, validating the first-ever secure and intelligent microreactor.manufacturing, and analyses and provide regulators a high-This approach will drive questioning of the art of the possiblefidelity resource to help speed the licensing processes. This enabled by rapid technology advances coming from otherwill place INL in a global leadership position for fuels and industries combined with insight to design an entirely newmaterials science and engineering.reactor system architecture. The Fission Battery Initiative 11"