DOE Invests $60M in Nuclear Energy R&D Projects

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The Department of Energy has invested $60 million to fund 13 nuclear technology research and development projects.

The department said Friday its Office of Nuclear Energy supports the selection under the U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development funding opportunity announcement.

The DOE will review applications quarterly and select more awardees throughout a five-year period.

An additional $40 million funding is expected to be obligated for the effort’s next two quarterly award cycles.

Awarded projects will be classified under three different research pathways.

The First-of-a-Kind Nuclear Demonstration Readiness Project pathway seeks to design and develop reactors and technologies for existing plants with technical and licensing risks. Projects under this pathway are as follows:

  • Design and License Application Development for TRISO-X: A Cross-Cutting, High Assay Low Enriched Uranium Fuel Fabrication FacilityX Energy
  • Phase 1 NuScale Small Modular Reactor FOAK Nuclear Demonstration Readiness ProjectNuScale Power

The Advanced Reactor Development Projects pathway supports concepts aimed at improving reactor functions and potential for commercial applications. Projects under this pathway are as follows:

  • Combining Multi-Scale Modeling with Microcapsule Irradiation to Expedite Advanced Fuels DeploymentGeneral Atomics
  • Dynamic Natural Convection – Passive Cooling for the LWR FleetNuVision Engineering
  • Establishment of an integrated advanced manufacturing and data science-driven paradigm for advanced reactor systemsBWXT Nuclear Energy
  • Modeling and Optimization of Flow and Heat Transfer in Reactor Components for Molten Chloride Salt Fast Reactor ApplicationElysium Industries USA

Lastly, the Regulatory Assistance Grants pathway aims to address regulatory issues such as those concerning certification and licensing of advanced reactors. Projects under this pathway are as follows:

  • Pre-Application License Review of Silicon Carbide Composite Clad Uranium Carbide Fuel for Long-Life Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor CoresGeneral Atomics
  • Resolving the Regulatory Issues with Implementation of Online Monitoring Technologies to Extend the Calibration Intervals of Process Instruments in Nuclear Power Plants – Analysis and Measurement Services

Additionally, DOE awarded grants under the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear effort to five companies including:

  • Oklo
  • Terrestrial Energy
  • ThorCon US
  • Urbix Resources
  • Vega Wave Systems
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