The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $65 million in nuclear energy research, cross-cutting technology development, facility access, and infrastructure awards for 93 advanced nuclear technology projects in 28 states.
The awards fall under three DOE’s nuclear energy programmes - the Nuclear Energy University Programme (NEUP), the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET), and the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF).
“Advancing the next generation of nuclear energy is paramount to ensuring reliable, clean electricity for the American people. If we are serious about making substantial progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then emissions-free nuclear energy must be a part of that conversation,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The Trump Administration recognises the importance of nuclear energy, and through these 93 projects spread across 28 different states, we remain wholly committed to revitalising our most reliable form of energy.”
“Investments in programmes like these help strengthen American leadership in nuclear innovation by supporting the development of the next generation of talent,” noted Dr Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. “DOE is committed to ensuring that researchers have access to cutting-edge infrastructure and lab capabilities to develop advanced nuclear technologies.”
DOE is awarding in excess of $38.6 million through NEUP to support 57 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects. A further 21 university-led projects will receive more than $5.7 million for research reactor and infrastructure improvements, providing important safety, performance, and student education-related upgrades to a portion of the nation’s 25 university research reactors, as well as enhancing university research and training infrastructure. A further $10.8 million is being awarded for three Integrated Research Projects (IRPs), which address well-defined but highly complex technical issues impacting key Office of Nuclear Energy (ONE) mission objectives. IRPs are multi-million dollar, three-year projects carreid out by by university-led consortiums, industrial and international research entities, and the unique resources of the DOE National Laboratories. IRPs comprise a significant element of DOE’s innovative nuclear research objectives.
Through NEET, five research and development projects led by DOE National Laboratories and US universities will receive $5 million in funding. Together, they will conduct research to address cross-cutting challenges that will help to develop advanced sensors and instrumentation and advanced manufacturing methods for multiple nuclear reactor plant and fuel applications.
Under NSUF, DOE has selected one industry, three DOE National Laboratory, and three university-led projects to investigate important nuclear fuel and material applications. DOE will support two of these projects with a total of $1 million in research funds. All seven projects will be supported by more than $2.4 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. In addition, one of the NEUP R&D projects will be supported with $1.6 million in NSUF access funds.
With these awards, ONE has now awarded more than $800 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.