The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awards $7.4 million to eight projects at seven U.S. universities to advance nuclear energy infrastructure and instruction

The funding is meant to support improvements and upgrades to university research reactors, as well as provide K-12, vocational schools and other colleges access to university research reactors to increase nuclear science, engineering and technology awareness.  

“These awards will provide greater access to nuclear energy instruction and remove barriers to participating in nuclear research and development,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Mike Goff. “By investing in our nation’s colleges and universities, we are empowering future generations to consider careers in nuclear energy.” 

The awards are funded under two DOE Office of Nuclear Energy funding opportunities. The University Nuclear Research Infrastructure Revitalization funding opportunity supports increased capacity for university-led nuclear research and development by establishing or improving university nuclear facilities, equipment, and other related capabilities through a consortium.  

  • Purdue University will receive $6 million and partner with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Ivy Tech Community College, and Tougaloo College Research and Development Foundation to support improvements to four existing nuclear research facilities and develop workforce training.

The University Reactor Sharing and Outreach Program funding opportunity encourages universities with existing nuclear research reactors to share resources and facilities with educational institutions that currently do not have access to research reactors. DOE is awarding seven universities $200,000 each for a total of $1.4 million in funding support.

  • Texas A&M University will increase collaboration among faculty and students at the university and with educational institutions that do not own research reactors.  

  • University of Florida will offer experiential learning opportunities with research reactors to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities that do not have access to research reactors. 

  • The Ohio State University will expand outreach to students beyond Ohio, encouraging access to research and testing at their Nuclear Reactor Laboratory. 

  • University of Maryland, College Park will partner with Morgan State University to offer reactor operator training and access to facilities for research projects for students who have been underrepresented in nuclear energy fields. 

  • Purdue University will provide greater access to its research reactor, host annual reactor events, increase the number of reactor tours, establish science teacher workshops, and develop a nuclear reactor operation and control certification course.  

  • University of Texas at Austin will offer K-12 educational institutions and community colleges access to lecture materials and research facilities, hold teacher workshops on nuclear science and engineering, and offer undergraduate summer internships. 

  • University of New Mexico will improve public awareness and educational opportunities in the Southwest, particularly among underrepresented and disadvantaged communities.

To date, the Office of Nuclear Energy has invested more than $1 billion in total funding to students and faculty advancing nuclear energy research and training the next generation of nuclear energy leaders.

DOE awards $7.4 million to advance nuclear education (power-eng.com)

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