DOE Announces $17 Million in Nuclear Energy Research Grants for Universities

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The Department of Energy announced today that it is awarding more than $17 million in grants to 23 universities to strengthen and encourage the development of new nuclear energy technologies.

The grants will come from the DOE's Nuclear Energy University Programs and will provide full grants for the higher education institutions that will help fund projects that will develop the next generation of nuclear energy technologies and ways to upgrade the current nuclear energy reactors across the country. Aside from developing new technologies, the projects will help train, educate, and prepare students and researchers to be leaders in the upcoming nuclear energy industry in the country.

"These projects are critical to research aimed at advancing our domestic nuclear industry and maintaining global leadership in the field. Through these investments we are also training and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry to help build a strong new energy economy."

About $12 million of the $17 million in grants will specifically go towards integrated research projects. These projects will aim to improve nuclear reactor efficiency and develop new ways to safely store spent fuel rods. The remaining $5.7 million will help universities offer education for nuclear engineers and scientists and purchase new, cutting-edge equipment and other resources.

The exact funding is $17,686,477 and the grants range from $65,738 to $7.5 million. According to the Boston Business Journal, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is receiving the largest grant to test a new advanced reactor. MIT will also use the funding to partner with the University of California and the University of Wisconsin to develop these new technologies. MIT also received a separate grant of $148,000 to replace detectors in the MIT Research Reactor nuclear safety system.

The other colleges and universities receiving the grants include $4.5 million to Texas A&M University, $1,495,000 to Oregon State University, $300,000 to the University of Michigan, $200,000 to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $200,000 to the Missouri University of Science and Technology, $292,756 to the University of Wisconsin, $150,000 to Idaho State University and $298,129 to the University of Nevada.

According to Yahoo! News, in early August the DOE announced $39 million in nuclear research grants to 31 academic institutions in 20 states. These awarded grants went to projects that focused on either fuel cycle research and development, reactor concepts research, nuclear energy advanced modeling, or transformative research.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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