Check out this exciting opportunity for UA students: three 2019 summer internships at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) are being offered to Alaska undergraduate and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines (communications, economics, engineering, marketing, physics, policy, etc.). After the initial internship, students will conduct market and business research at the UA Center for Economic Development for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters.
The students will spend the summer (May-August) in Idaho Falls, collaborating with INL researchers in three focus areas related to nuclear microreactor deployment in the arctic:
Strategic Communications: Consider and analyze issues related to public and private sector engagement, strategic messaging, and related communications challenges. Develop approaches to differentiate microreactor technology from presently deployed, gigawatt-scale reactor technologies; develop approaches to communicate benefit, risk, and special issues related to arctic applications; and develop strategic messaging approaches related to the importance of nuclear energy in a clean energy / carbon constrained global energy portfolio.
Regulatory and Technology Policy: Consider the present state of nuclear regulations and consider what regulatory gaps and hurdles exist related to stationary microreactors and portable (mobile) microreactor systems. Consider what national policy changes might be necessary to enable deployment in arctic environments, either on private, state, or federal (military) sites. Consider what regulatory changes would be needed to accommodate highly automated nuclear systems, possibly incorporating autonomous or remote-controlled operation.
Economic and Market Assessment: Assess the economics of nuclear microreactor deployment in the arctic based on estimates of capital, financing, and operations costs. Compare and contrast with other energy options. Consider what application potential exists for microreactors (e.g., mining operations, port facilities, remote community and/or research stations, etc.) and what portions of the resulting supply chain and enabled economic opportunities might provide competitive advantage for Alaska-based business. Consider novel potential business models for systems deployment, including vendor-lease options.