Skip to main content

What Gets Done with $47 Million – DOE’s Educational Grants

Here comes tomorrow:

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced, The Department of Energy will be giving more than $47 million in scholarships, fellowships, research grants and university research reactor upgrades to train and educate the next generation of leaders in America's nuclear industry.

There are 143 of these awards. What’s interesting is that there are potentially 143 stories for reporters to track down. What will the money be used for? This story comes from Washington state, so:

Washington State University in Pullman received a little under $2 million in funds.  Ken Nash,  a radioactive chemistry professor says he'll use the money for a project to help them find a better way to deal with nuclear waste that comes from a power plant.

Illinois:

At Northwestern University, researchers will receive $1.6 million for two research projects on advanced nuclear fuel and fuel cycle technologies. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of chalcogenide-based materials and design novel metal sulfides to effectively capture and store radioisotopes released during reprocessing of used nuclear fuel as well as provide tools that will help predict the reliability and safety of concrete structures in dry cask storage systems.

Utah:

At the Utah State University, researchers will receive $690,000 to conduct experiments that generate data on natural convection through a fuel assembly. The data will be used to validate the computational models being developed for nuclear safety and design.

Michigan:

Part of the money for the Ann Arbor school will go to a research project aimed at developing new and advanced reactor designs and technologies.

Well, okay, some are more specific than others. But most put the lie to the idea that nuclear energy is anywhere near the end of its innovative life. As long as budding scientists can figure out new things to do with chalcogenide-based materials, nuclear energy technology will continue to advance.

Comments

jimwg said…
I terribly wish to see NEI or others do a deep report and expose of the mainstream media's virtually blatant non-balanced non-alarmist reporting on all things nuclear. If they won't throw the welcome mat out to pro-nuclear advocates as they have with their darling anti's agendas then time's long due for some exposes to plaster around the web. Just one local reporter's alarmist or cynical nuclear plant report (as can be amply found on YouTube) can undo months of pronuclear campaigning and programs in a community. It's long time to fight back. This isn't about winning a college debate; it's about challenging pernicious anti-nuclear groups whose vote-swaying lame allegations and glib Doomsday scenarios to an unwashed frightened public are imperiling the energy security and general public health of the U.S.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…