Nuclear R&D Funding Announced


"In total, $38 million has been awarded to 42 projects. . ."

Both the U.S. and UK have announced investments in university-led research projects designed to improve the prospects of the next generation of nuclear power plants.

In the U.S., Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced on 20 May the latest round of funding allocations for research and development projects under the DOE's Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP).

In total, $38 million has been awarded to 42 projects covering four main research areas, including fuel cycle research and development, 13 projects, $11.82 million; Generation IV reactor research and development, 20 projects, $19.86 million; light water reactor sustainability, 2 projects, $764,000; mission-relevant investigator-initiated research, 7 projects, $5.56 million.

The funding is intended to reinvigorate the U.S. nuclear industry, which is viewed as a key player in helping fulfill U.S. energy objectives of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, job creation and energy independence. Some objectives of the research projects include reducing waste and proliferation concerns associated with spent fuel and improving the safety, economics and sustainability of nuclear power.

"We are taking action to restart the nuclear industry as part of a broad approach to cut carbon pollution and create new clean energy jobs," said Chu. "These projects will help us develop the nuclear technologies of the future and move our domestic nuclear industry forward."

Lead research institutions comprise 23 universities for projects in 17 states. Other research partners will contribute to the projects, including collaborators from industry, national laboratories and other education facilities. Research and development forms one of three planks of the NEUP, which also provides funding for scholarships and fellowships, and infrastructure upgrades for research reactors, energy facilities laboratories and classrooms.

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