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The Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES) was established in September 2000 by the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the MIT Energy Laboratory (now the MIT Energy Initiative) to create through research a better understanding of nuclear energy systems that promise more favorable economics, safety, proliferation resistance and environmental impact. The Center’s programs involve the development and application of methods for the design, operation, and regulation of current and advanced nuclear reactors and fuel cycles. This requires advances in knowledge about traditional scientific and technical disciplines, such as computational methods for multi-scale physics and materials under harsh environments, as well as modern methods of systems probabilistic decision and safety analysis, together with human interactions and management science.
CANES involves participation of 20 faculty members and research staff, who typically engage more than 60 graduate and 20 undergraduate students, as well a dozen or so postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists, in the research program. The research products are documented in more than 200 reports. CANES’ programs are funded by the US government (mostly DOE and its national laboratories) and industrial sources from the US (such as EPRI) and overseas (such as Tokyo Electric Power Company). In 2010, CANES was part of the winning team for a DOE Innovation Hub on Nuclear Modeling and Simulation, a five-year, $122m project coordinated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The Center actively participates in policy studies in conjunction with the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), exemplified by the 2003 report on The Future of Nuclear Power and its 2009 update, as well as the major forthcoming study on The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
CANES maintains a vigorous effort for promoting transfer of technology from the research stage to the marketplace, through yearly symposia and professional short courses. Besides the open summer courses, special professional courses have been held at the request of industrial firms such as AREVA and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Company. In recent few years CANES’ symposia have been held in Paris, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo, as well as at MIT, reflecting the Center’s growing number of international collaborations.