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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of 71 university research project awards as part of the Department of Energy's investments in cutting-edge nuclear energy research and development (R&D).  Under the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), these 71 projects will receive approximately $44 million over three years to advance new nuclear technologies in support of the nation's energy goals.  By helping to develop the next generation of advanced nuclear technologies, the Nuclear Energy University Program will play a key role in addressing the global climate crisis and moving the nation toward greater use of nuclear energy.

"As a zero-carbon energy source, nuclear power must be part of our energy mix as we work toward energy independence and meeting the challenge of global warming," said Secretary Chu.  "The next generation of nuclear power plants - with the highest standards of safety, efficiency and environmental protection - will require the latest advancements in nuclear science and technology.  These research and development university awards will ensure that the United States continues to lead the world in the nuclear field for years to come."

Selected R&D projects include 31 U.S. universities that will act as lead research institutions for projects in more than 20 states.  Other universities, industries, and national laboratories will serve as collaborators and research partners.  Under the Nuclear Energy University Program, DOE will support projects in the following nuclear energy research fields: the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) also known as Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, Investigator-Initiated Research (IIR), and Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS). 

In keeping with the Obama Administration's commitment to training the next generation of American scientists, Secretary Chu also announced that DOE is accepting applications for individual nuclear science and engineering scholarships and fellowships under the Nuclear Energy University Program.  As part of the Department's efforts to recruit and train the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers, DOE is offering approximately $2.9 million in university fellowships and scholarships to support students entering the nuclear science and engineering fields.  Further details on the Request for applications are available from the Center for Advanced Energy Studies.

Contracts for the R&D projects are expected to be awarded by September 30, 2009 by the Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA), a Management and Operating contractor for DOE at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Read more information about the 71 research and development awards.

Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI)




Fundamental Understanding of Ambient and High-Temperature Plasticity Phenomena in Structural Materials in Advanced ReactorsGeorgia Institute of Technology
Advanced Elastic/Inelastic Nuclear Data Development ProjectIdaho State University
Heterogeneous Recycling in Fast ReactorsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Thermodynamic Development of Corrosion Rate Modeling in Iron Phosphate GlassesMissouri University of Science and Technology
Development of Subspace-Based Hybrid Monte Carlo-Deterministic Algorithms for Reactor Physics CalculationsNorth Carolina State University 
SiC Schottky Diode Detectors for Measurement of Actinide Concentrations from Alpha Activities in Molten Salt ElectrolyteOhio State University
Simulations of Failure via Three-Dimensional Cracking in Fuel Cladding for Advanced Nuclear FuelsOklahoma State University 
Improvements to Nuclear Data and Its Uncertainties by Theoretical ModelingRensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
Sharp Interface Tracking in Rotating Microflows of Solvent ExtractionState University of New York at Stony Brook 
Bulk Nanostructured FCC Steels with Enhanced Radiation ToleranceTexas A&M University 
Fuel Performance Experiments and Modeling: Fission Gas Bubble Nucleation and Growth in Alloy Nuclear FuelsTexas A&M University 
Computational Design of Advanced Nuclear FuelsUniversity of California, Davis 
Data Collection Methods For Validation of Advanced Multi-Resolution Fast Reactor SimulationsUniversity of Idaho
Simulations of the Thermodynamic and Diffusion Properties of Actinide Oxide Fuel MaterialsUniversity of Michigan 
Adsorptive Separation and Sequestration of Krypton, I and C14 on Diamond NanoparticlesUniversity of Missouri, Columbia
Development of Alternative Technetium Waste FormsUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas 
Quantification of UV-Visible and Laser Spectroscopic Techniques for Materials Accountability and Process ControlUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas 
High-Fidelity Space-Time Adaptive Multiphysics Simulations in Nuclear EngineeringUniversity of Nevada, Reno 
Advanced Mesh-Enabled Monte Carlo Capability for Multi-Physics Reactor AnalysisUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison 
Ab Initio Enhanced Calphad Modeling of Actinide Rich Nuclear FuelsUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison 
Development of Diffusion Barrier Coatings and Deposition Technologies for Mitigating Fuel Cladding Chemical Interactions (FCCI)University of Wisconsin, Madison 
Thermal Properties of LiCl-KCl Molten Salt for Nuclear Waste SeparationUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison

Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP)/Generation IV Nuclear Systems


Irradiation Creep in GraphiteBoise State University 
Modeling the Stress Strain Relationships and Predicting Failure Probabilities For Graphite Core ComponentsCleveland State University
TRISO-Coated Fuel Durability Under Extreme ConditionsColorado School of Mines
An Innovative and Advanced Coupled Neutron Transport and Thermal Hydraulic Method (Tool) for the Design, Analysis and Optimization of VHTR/NGNP Prismatic ReactorsGeorgia Institute of Technology 
Millimeter-Wave Thermal Analysis Development and Application to Gen IV Reactor MaterialsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Accurate Development of Thermal Neutron Scattering Cross Section LibrariesNorth Carolina State University
Understanding Creep Mechanisms in Graphite with Experiments, Multiscale Simulations, and ModelingNorth Carolina State University
Multiaxial creep-fatigue and creep-ratcheting failures of Grade 91 and Haynes 230 alloys toward addressing the design issues of Gen IV nuclear power plantsNorth Carolina State University
Verification & Validation of High-Order Short-Characteristics-Based Deterministic Transport Methodology on Unstructured GridsNorth Carolina State University
Microscale Heat Conduction Models and Doppler FeedbackNorth Carolina State University
Optimizing Neutron Thermal Scattering Effects in Very High Temperature ReactorsNorth Carolina State University
Investigation of Countercurrent Helium-air Flows in Air-ingress Accidents for VHTRsOhio State University
Testing of Performance of Optical Fibers Under Irradiation in Intense Radiation Fields, When Subjected to Very High TemperaturesOhio State University
Non Destructive Thermal Analysis and In Situ Investigation of Creep Mechanism of Graphite and Ceramic Composites using Phase-sensitive THz Imaging & Nonlinear Resonant Ultrasonic SpectroscopyRensselaer Polytechnic Institute
A Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Network for Online 3-D Temperature and Neutron Fluence Mapping in a VHTR EnvironmentTexas A&M University
Investigation on the Core Bypass Flow in a Very High Temperature ReactorTexas A&M University
CFD Model Development and Validation for High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor Cavity Cooling System (RCCS) ApplicationsTexas A&M University
Study of Air ingress across the duct during the accident conditionsTexas A&M University
Verification of the CENTRM Module for Adaptation of the SCALE Code to NGNP Prismatic and PBR Core DesignsUniversity of Arizona
Integral and Separate Effects Tests for Thermal Hydraulics Code Validation for Liquid-Salt Cooled Nuclear ReactorsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Mechanisms Governing the Creep Behavior of High Temperature Alloys for Generation IV Nuclear Energy SystemsUniversity of Cincinnati
ALD Produced B2O3, Al2O3 and TiO2 Coatings on Gd2O3 Burnable Poison NanoparticlesUniversity of Colorado, Boulder
Experimental Study and Computational Simulations of Key Pebble Bed Thermomechanics Issues for Design and SafetyUniversity of Idaho
Prediction and Monitoring Systems of Creep-Fracture Behavior of 9Cr-1Mo Steels for Reactor Pressure VesselsUniversity of Idaho
Understanding Fundamental Material Degradation Processes in High Temperature Aggressive Chemomechanical EnvironmentsUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Multi-Scale Multi-physics Methods Development for the Calculation of Hot-Spots in the NGNPUniversity of Michigan
Corrosion and Creep of Candidate Alloys in High Temperature Helium and Steam Environments for the NGNPUniversity of Michigan
Creation of a Full-Core HTR Benchmark with the Fort St. Vrain Initial Core and Validation of the DHF Method with Helios for NGNP ConfigurationsUniversity of Michigan
Fission Product Sorptivity in GraphiteUniversity of Missouri, Columbia
Identifying and Understanding Environment-Induced Crack Propagation Behavior in Ni-Based Superalloy INCONEL 617University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Graphite Oxidation Simulation in HTR Accident ConditionsUniversity of New Mexico
Tritium Sequestration in Gen IV NGNP Gas Stream via Proton Conducting Ceramic PumpsUniversity of South Carolina
Materials, Turbomachinery and Heat Exchangers for Supercritical CO2 SystemsUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Experimental Studies of NGNP Reactor Cavity Cooling System with WaterUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Assessment of Embrittlement of VHTR Structural Alloys in Impure Helium EnvironmentsUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Modeling Fission Product Sorption in Graphite StructuresUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Liquid Salt Heat Exchanger Technology for VHTR Based ApplicationsUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Effect of Post-Weld Heat Treatment on Creep Rupture Properties of Grade 91 Steel Heavy Section WeldsUtah State University

Investigator-Initiated Research (IIR)


Neutron Damage and MAX Phase Ternary CompoundsDrexel University
Maximum Fuel Utilization in Fast Reactors without Chemical ReprocessingUniversity of California, Berkeley
Developing a High Thermal Conductivity Fuel with Silicon Carbide AdditivesUniversity of Florida
Fabrication of Tungsten-Rhenium Cladding Materials via Spark Plasma Sintering for Ultra High Temperature Reactor ApplicationsUniversity of Idaho
Ionic Liquid and Supercritical Fluid Hyphenated Techniques for Dissolution and Separation of Lanthanides, Actinides, and Fission ProductsUniversity of Idaho
Utilization of Methacrylates and Polymer Matrices for the Synthesis of Ion Specific ResinsUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas
Improved LWR Cladding Performance by EPD Surface Modification TechniqueUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Atomistic Calculations of the Effect of Minor Actinides on Thermodynamic and Kinetic Properties of UO2+xGeorgia Institute of Technology
Improved Fission Neutron Data Base for Active Interrogation of ActinidesUniversity of Michigan 

Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS)


Advanced Models of LWR Pressure Vessel Embrittlement for Low Flux-High Fluence ConditionsUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

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