The Department of Energy (DOE) will tag $67 million of federal funds for 83 nuclear energy projects across the country in an effort to boost scientific breakthroughs.

The agency said the awards announced on Aug. 20 would help provide “crucial funding” for research and development as well as for training and education of the country’s future nuclear workforce.

About $30 million will be designated through the DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research Programs (NEUP) to support 44 university-led nuclear energy research and development. Half those funds—about $16 million—will support fuel cycle projects. About $10.4 million will back reactor concepts research development and demonstration projects, and $2.3 million will support nuclear energy advanced modeling and simulation. The remaining $1.2 million will support projects that develop integral benchmark evaluations.

Beyond those awards, about $4 million is tagged for projects to improve research reactor and infrastructure, and $20 million has been awarded to five integrated research projects that will deliver solutions to nuclear energy research challenges. These include instrumentation and vacuum drying systems associated with the storage of used nuclear fuel, an integrated approach to fluoride high-temperature reactor technology development, and advanced instrumentation to support transient testing, said the DOE.

Meanwhile, the DOE on Aug. 18 issued two funding opportunity announcements (FOA) to support nuclear energy research at U.S. universities, national laboratories, and industry. “The Department will provide funds for Program Supporting, Mission Supporting, Program Directed, and National Scientific User Facility research, as well as upgrades to university research reactors and university and national laboratory general scientific infrastructure,” the agency said.

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)