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.
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.
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.
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.