St. Lucie plant on Florida's Treasure Coast, one of the USA's longest running nuclear electricy plants
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant plant on Florida's Treasure Coast, one of the USA's longest running nuclear electricy plants. (Credit: Lothar Wedekind / IAEA)

The Energy Department announced nearly $67 million in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement awards.

83 projects were selected from across the country based on their potential to create scientific breakthroughs that both help strengthen the nation’s energy security and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

SEE ALSO: MIT Proposes Tsunami-Proof Floating Nuclear Plants

“The Department’s support for cutting-edge nuclear science and engineering across our universities, national laboratories, and industry reflects the key role of nuclear energy in helping ensure America’s low carbon future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “These awards not only provide crucial funding for research and development, but also for the training and education of the next generation nuclear energy workforce that will enhance American leadership in the safe, secure and efficient use of nuclear energy here and around the world.”

As part of the announcement, the Energy Department is awarding over $30 million through its Nuclear Energy Research Programs (NEUP) to support 44 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects to develop innovative technologies and solutions. These projects will be led by 30 U.S. universities in 24 states. Today’s announcement also includes approximately $4 million to 19 universities for research reactor and infrastructure improvements—providing important safety- performance- and student education-related upgrades to the nation’s 25 university research reactors as well as enhancing university research and training infrastructure.

The Energy Department is also awarding $20 million for 5 Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) that will deliver solutions to high priority nuclear energy research challenges, including instrumentation and vacuum drying systems associated with the storage of used nuclear fuel, an integrated approach to fluoride high temperature reactor technology development, and advanced instrumentation to support transient testing.

Additionally, $11 million will be awarded for 12 research and development projects led by U.S. universities, Department of Energy national laboratories and industry in support of the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies Crosscutting Technology Development Program (NEET CTD) to address crosscutting nuclear energy challenges. 2 infrastructure enhancement projects totaling over $1 million will be awarded to Department of Energy national laboratories to further reactor materials and instrumentation research.