WASHINGTON – Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the Administration’s efforts to expand clean energy innovation, the Energy Department announced today 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.

“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.

Since 2009, the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded approximately $350 million to 98 U.S. colleges and universities to continue American leadership in clean energy innovation and to train the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists through its university programs. Visit neup.gov for more information on today’s awards and Energy.gov for information on all of the Energy Department’s efforts to continue American leadership in low-carbon nuclear energy innovation.

Nuclear Safety

Nuclear Security & Nonproliferation

As long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent to keep America safe. In support of this presidential mandate, the Energy Department — specifically the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) — is responsible for ensuring the integrity and safety of the nation’s nuclear weapons, advancing nuclear nonproliferation and promoting international nuclear safety.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

National Security & Safety

The Energy Department plays an important and multifaceted role in protecting national security. In addition to our work to increase nuclear nonproliferation and ensure the security of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, we manage the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, invest in protections against cyber and physical attacks on U.S. energy infrastructure, conduct programs to ensure worker health and safety, and provide training tools and procedures for emergency response and preparedness.