Nuclear R&D gets US federal funding

07 May 2009

"Cutting edge" nuclear research projects at US universities have been selected to receive Department of Energy funding, energy secretary Steven Chu has announced.

 "As a zero-carbon energy
 source, nuclear power
 must be part of our
 energy mix as we work
 towards energy
 independence and
 meeting the challenge of
 global warming"
A total of 71 projects will receive approximately $44 million over three years under the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) to advance new nuclear technologies in support of the USA's energy goals. The projects are grouped into four research areas: the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI); the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), also known as Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems; Investor-Initiated Research (IIR); and Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS).

"As a zero-carbon energy source, nuclear power must be part of our energy mix as we work towards energy independence and meeting the challenge of global warming," said Chu. He went on: "The next generation of nuclear power plants - with the highest standards of safety, efficiency and environmental protection - will require the latest advancements in nuclear science and technology. These research and development university awards will ensure that the United States continues to lead the world in the nuclear field for years to come."

Chu also announced that DoE is accepting applications for individual nuclear science and engineering scholarships and fellowships under the Nuclear Energy University Program. The DoE is offering approximately $2.9 million in university fellowships and scholarships to support students entering the nuclear science and engineering fields as part of its efforts to recruit and train the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers.

Contracts for the research and development projects are expected to be awarded by September 30, 2009 by the Battelle Energy Alliance, a management and operating contractor for DoE at the Idaho National Laboratory.

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