DOE Announces $39 Million to Nuclear Energy Research and Development

08/09/2011 |


The Department of Energy today announced that it has awarded up to $39 million in research grants aimed at developing cutting-edge nuclear energy technologies and training and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry. 

 Speaking at the U.S. Department of Energy’s annual Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) workshop in Chicago, Assistant Secretary Peter Lyons said the grants would support up to 51 projects at colleges and universities around the country.

Through NEUP, the Department is working to leverage the research and development capabilities of American universities and colleges to enhance U.S. leadership in the global nuclear energy industry.  The DOE is taking action to restart the nuclear industry as part of a broad approach to create new clean energy jobs and cut carbon pollution.

“The Obama Administration continues to believe that nuclear energy has an important role to play as America moves to a clean energy future,” says Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “As part of our commitment to restarting the American nuclear industry and creating thousands of new jobs and export opportunities in the process, we are investing in cutting-edge nuclear energy research projects that can develop the technologies required to advance our domestic nuclear industry and maintain global leadership in the field.”

The 51 awards announced today are led by 31 U.S. universities in more than 20 states.  Notable projects include:

  • Clemson University (Clemson, SC) – Researchers will study the interaction of used fuel with storage containers under extreme conditions to help ensure public and environmental safety during the treatment and disposal of radioactive waste. DOE award: $1,000,000
  • Utah State University (Logan, UT) – Researchers will model heat transfer through fluid flows within a nuclear reactor, improving reactor safety and design. The resulting data will be made available in a consolidated database for nuclear energy industry experts and researchers, supporting a wide range of related studies and reducing future testing costs. DOE award:  $635,860
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) – Researchers will help develop future sustainable nuclear fuel cycles using model simulations of fuel behavior and performance in reactors. The research will provide a cost effective means to accelerate the development of these new cycles and improve fuel performance. DOE award: $1,098,250
  • Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA) - Researchers will support the development of a sensory system for gauging the effects of aging on advanced nuclear plant components. It will also improve physical measurement accuracy and reduce uncertainty in component life expectancy. DOE award: $455,628

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