University of Illinois Gets Federal Money for Nuke Research

September 28, 2012

Those behind a three-year federal grant funded research project in nuclear energy at the University of Illinois say it has the potential to on far beyond that.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s $3.5 million investment is aimed at improving the safety and performance of light-water nuclear reactors. 

Shane Johnson is the Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology and Innovation.  He says the work-led team will watch the transfer of heat from fuel to coolant.

"And then it has an enhanced safety characteristic in case the plant was ever to get in an accident-type situation," he said.  "Because the most important thing is to remove the heat from the fuel so that the fuel continues to be in a safe configuration,and there's no release of radiation of anything like that." 

A total of $13-million is split between the U of I, University of Tennessee, and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Johnson says it’s the DOE’s hope that the results could warrant either continuing the project, or expanding the work into specific areas that look most promising.   The funds will provide stipends and tuition for graduate students, partial salary for faculty leading the project, and money towards travel to partner institutions.

Story source: WILL