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Investing in the Next Generation of U.S. Nuclear Energy Leaders

August 9, 2011 - 5:12pm


As part of the Energy Department’s Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) annual workshop, I met today with professors from across the country and announced awards of up to $39 million for research projects aimed at developing cutting-edge nuclear energy technologies. The awards will also help train and educate the next generation of nuclear industry leaders in the U.S. These projects, led by 31 universities in more than 20 states, will help to enable the safe, secure and sustainable expansion of nuclear energy in the United States.

NEUP builds upon the Obama Administration’s efforts to ensure that nuclear power continues to be part of our clean energy mix while leveraging the strong research and development capabilities of American universities and colleges.

For example, with support from the Energy Department, researchers at Utah State University will model heat transfer through fluid flows within a nuclear reactor to improve reactor safety and design. The data they gather will be published in a database for other industry experts and researchers to use. At Colorado State University, a team will use simulations of fuel behavior and performance in reactors to help develop future sustainable nuclear fuel cycles, while at Pennsylvania State University researchers will help develop a sensory system to gauge the effects of aging on advanced nuclear plant components.

Through initiatives like NEUP, we’re growing our domestic nuclear energy industry -- creating new clean energy jobs, cutting carbon pollution and enhancing U.S. leadership in the nuclear arena globally.

Check out more about NEUP and the other projects selected for award here.