More US funding for advanced nuclear technology

24 June 2021

The US Department of Energy (DOE) on 22 June announced more than $61 million in funding awards for 99 advanced nuclear energy technology projects in 30 states and a US territory. The projects, $58 million of which will go to US universities, will focus on nuclear energy research, cross-discipline technology development, and nuclear reactor infrastructure to bolster the resiliency and use of America’s largest domestic source of carbon-free energy. It will also help to meet the goals of 100% clean electricity by 2035, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

“Nuclear power is critical to America’s clean energy future and we are committed to making it a more accessible, affordable and resilient energy solution for communities across the country,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm. “At DOE we’re not only investing in the country’s current nuclear fleet, but we’re also investing in the scientists and engineers who are developing and deploying the next generation of advanced nuclear technologies that will slash the amount of carbon pollution, create good-paying energy jobs, and realize our carbon-free goals.”

Nuclear power provides a fifth of America’s overall electricity and more than half of our zero-emissions energy, making it a key part of our clean energy future. To realise nuclear’s full potential, more research and development is needed to ensure the creation and operation of cost-effective nuclear power and to establish new methods for securely transporting, storing and disposing of used nuclear fuel waste.

The awards are managed through DOE’s nuclear energy programmes—the Nuclear Energy University Programme (NEUP), the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET), and the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF). The selected awardees will:

  • Enhance America’s nuclear energy infrastructure and increase the safety of nuclear waste storage: Through the NEUP awards, 69 university-led projects across 27 states will receive $48.8 million in DOE funding to develop innovative solutions for increasing the nation’s nuclear energy capabilities, including novel methods for isolating, immobilising and storing nuclear waste. Additionally, 24 university-led projects will receive $5.9 million for research aimed at improving nuclear reactor infrastructure and providing crucial safety and performance upgrades to a portion of the nation’s 25 university research reactors.
  • Improve resilience of nuclear reactor facilities: Four projects awarded through NEET and NSUF—and separately housed at Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, GE Research and DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory—will develop advanced materials, manufacturing, and digital instrumentation technologies to support advanced nuclear reactors, and to investigate the application of nuclear fuel and materials. These projects will receive $3.2 million in funding, and will be supported by approximately $3.9 million in facility access costs and expertise for experimental neutron and ion irradiation testing, post-irradiation examination facilities, synchrotron beamline capabilities, and technical assistance for design and analysis of experiments through NSUF.

With these awards, DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy has now awarded more than $863 million “to continue American leadership in clean energy innovation and to train the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists through its competitive opportunities since 2009".

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.