NE Seminar: “Advanced Nuclear Technology Development: Innovation and Collaboration”


1:50 pm-2:50 pm
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Eric Williams

Eric Williams is the Vice President of Engineering at TerraPower. In this role, he oversees the engineering associated with TerraPower’s advanced reactors and medical isotope programs. He works closely with the senior program managers to provide design, analysis, and testing to meet project objectives. Williams has 23 years of experience in engineering and has spent the last 16 years developing nuclear power plant designs, with an emphasis on safety.

Before coming to TerraPower, Williams spent four years at B&W mPower developing a new small modular reactor design and worked to develop the safety of the plant and take the design through pre-licensing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He also led the development of an Integrated Systems Test facility, which was a small-scale, electrically powered version of the nuclear power plant used to demonstrate the safety characteristics of the plant during simulated accident scenarios.

Earlier in his career, Williams worked on another new reactor design where he led a team that analyzed severe accidents. He developed the analysis and documentation needed to license the design and took the severe accident analysis through the licensing process.

Prior to working on new nuclear reactor designs, Williams worked on making the current fleet of nuclear power plants in the U.S. more efficient by upgrading their equipment and modernizing their systems. He worked directly with electric power utilities and visited operating nuclear power plants to understand the issues they faced and helped develop solutions.

Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, a Master of Business Administration from Lynchburg College and a Professional Engineer license.


The speaker will describe the current challenges and opportunities being faced by the nuclear industry in developing advanced technology. He will summarize some of the current drivers for new nuclear technology development and how they led to the formation of TerraPower, a company in Bellevue, Washington focused on addressing global issues related to energy, climate change, and human health.

The speaker will focus on TerraPower’s two advanced nuclear reactor development programs and describe the technology development roadmaps for each. He will describe the current status of the Natrium and the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor designs and how innovation and collaboration have advanced each toward commercialization. The talk will describe not only the technology, but also the process for developing technology in the current environment of national and international demands for clean, safe, flexible, and affordable electricity.


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Materials Science & Engineering Dept.