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DOE announces funding for nuclear energy R&D

(WNN) | Updated: 2019-06-30
2019-06-30 (WNN)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced USD49.3 million in funding for nuclear energy research, facility access, crosscutting technology development, and infrastructure for 58 advanced nuclear technology projects in 25 states.


The NEUP was created in 2009 to consolidate the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy's university support under one programme (Image: NEUP)

The awards include USD25.8 million for some 40 university-led research and development projects plus USD1.6 million for seven university-led research reactor and infrastructure improvements under the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP).

Five research and development projects led by DOE national laboratories and US universities will receive a total of USD4.5 million in funding to conduct research to address "crosscutting nuclear energy challenges" that will help to develop advanced sensors and instrumentation, advanced manufacturing methods, and materials for multiple nuclear reactor plant and fuel applications. These include a project led by Los Alamos National Laboratory to determine the feasibility of laser additive manufacturing for producing reactor components of a ferritic/martensitic steel with an engineered microstructure, which is earmarked for an estimated USD1 million of funding.

Two university-, one national laboratory- and three industry-led projects to investigate important nuclear fuel and material applications will receive support under the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) programme. DOE will support three of these projects a total of USD1.5 million in research funds, while supporting all six by more than USD10 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. Two of the NEUP projects will also be supported with USD3 million in NSUF access funds.

"DOE is looking to the future, and that's why we are investing in advanced nuclear technologies. Nuclear energy is a critical part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy, and early-stage research can help ensure it will continue to be a clean, reliable, and resilient source of electricity for a long time to come," said DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Ed McGinnis said.

The DOE Office of Nuclear Energy has now awarded more than USD678 million through its university programmes since 2009, the department said.