Bojan Petrovic, a senior researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology, will lead an IRP team in developing a high-power light water reactor design with inherent safety features. | Photo courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology
Ensuring that the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers have the training they need to research, design and operate U.S. nuclear energy technologies is critical for maintaining America’s global leadership in the nuclear arena. For many years, the Energy Department has invested in educating and training students at U.S. universities and colleges across the country, especially in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Today, as part of this broader commitment, the Department announced nearly $13 million in new university-led projects through its Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP).
NEUP supports the country’s nuclear energy research and development goals, while also giving students hands-on experience in the industry’s science and engineering disciplines. Since 2009, this program has invested over $233 million for R&D projects, research reactor upgrades and student investments at 81 schools around the country.
As part of today’s announcement, researchers and students at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will bring together teams of university, national laboratory and industry partners to develop cross-cutting breakthrough technologies while preparing the next generation of nuclear researchers to address the industry’s complex issues. In particular, these three projects will focus on design improvements to strengthen the performance of nuclear systems and develop next generation light water reactor concepts and new fuel forms.
For example, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta will develop a high-power light water reactor with inherent safety features that go beyond the capabilities of advanced passive systems, while the teams from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Tennessee will focus on testing new, corrosion-resistant cladding through different computational and experimental models. Ultimately, these projects will help to improve reactor performance, advancing safe, efficient and sustainable next generation nuclear technologies.
Check out more on the Nuclear Energy University Programs at www.neup.gov.