The Department of Energy announced nearly $67 million in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement awards. 83 projects were selected from across the country based on their potential to create scientific breakthroughs that both help strengthen the nation’s energy security and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Department’s support for cutting-edge nuclear science and engineering across our universities, national laboratories, and industry reflects the key role of nuclear energy in helping ensure America’s low carbon future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “These awards not only provide crucial funding for research and development, but also for the training and education of the next generation nuclear energy workforce that will enhance American leadership in the safe, secure and efficient use of nuclear energy here and around the world.”
As part of the announcement, the DOE is awarding over $30 million through its Nuclear Energy Research Programs to support 44 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects to develop innovative technologies and solutions.
These projects will be led by 30 U.S. universities in 24 states. The announcement also includes about $4 million to 19 universities for research reactor and infrastructure improvements — providing important safety- performance- and student education-related upgrades to the nation’s 25 university research reactors as well as enhancing university research and training infrastructure.
The DOE is also awarding $20 million for 5 integrated research projects that will deliver solutions to high priority nuclear energy research challenges, including instrumentation and vacuum drying systems associated with the storage of used nuclear fuel, an integrated approach to fluoride high temperature reactor technology development, and advanced instrumentation to support transient testing.
Additionally, $11 million will be awarded for 12 research and development projects led by U.S. universities, DOE national laboratories and industry in support of the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies Crosscutting Technology Development Program to address crosscutting nuclear energy challenges. 2 infrastructure enhancement projects totaling over $1 million will be awarded DOE national laboratories to further reactor materials and instrumentation research.
Since 2009, the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded about $350 million to 98 U.S. colleges and universities to continue American leadership in clean energy innovation and to train the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists through its university programs.