Energy Department awards $60 million to 68 promising nuclear projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said last week that it has awarded more than $60 million to 68 nuclear projects from across the country that have the potential to create scientific breakthroughs that strengthen the nation’s energy security and cut harmful greenhouse-gas emissions.

DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz said he remains convinced that nuclear energy will continue to be an important part of the nation’s energy portfolio. Moniz said it accounts for more than 60 percent of carbon-free electricity in the U.S. today.

“These awards provide essential funding for nuclear energy-related research and thereby support the long-term health of our domestic nuclear energy industry,” Moniz said.

The DOE is awarding more than $31 million to 43 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in 23 states to develop innovative technologies and solutions through its Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP). Approximately $3.5 million will be awarded to nine universities for research reactor and infrastructure improvements – providing important safety, performance and student-education-related upgrades to many of the nation’s 25 university research reactors.

The DOE is continuing its successful nuclear energy research collaboration with the United Kingdom. Four of the NEUP projects include U.K. research collaborators, who will receive an additional $2.6 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the U.K.'s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.

The DOE is also awarding $13 million to four integrated research projects that aim to deliver solutions to high-priority nuclear energy research challenges, the development of accident-tolerant fuel options for near-term applications, benchmarking for transient fuel testing, and approaches to dry-cask inspection and nondestructive evaluation.

A total of $8.5 million also will be awarded to 10 research and development projects in support of the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies Crosscutting Technoprojectslogy Development Program to address crosscutting nuclear energy challenges. Two additional infrastructure enhancements, totaling more than $1 million, will be awarded to DOE national laboratories to further reactor materials and instrumentation research.

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US Department of Energy

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