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Celebrating Innovation with National Nuclear Science Week

January 25, 2012 - 2:54pm

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Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Peter Lyons meets with students from the California Institute of Technology to discuss how the Energy Department is working to ensure that the next generation is trained to lead innovation in the industry. | Photo courtesy of CalTech.

Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Peter Lyons meets with students from the California Institute of Technology to discuss how the Energy Department is working to ensure that the next generation is trained to lead innovation in the industry. | Photo courtesy of CalTech.

Nuclear science comprises many fields. From astrophysics to radioisotopes, nuclear science starts with the atom. The atom, and its fundamental building blocks of protons and neutrons, is the bundle of radioactive energy that makes so much possible.

National Nuclear Science Week, January 23-27, is designed to recognize the contributions of nuclear science and those who work in it every day. Did you know that nuclear science is used in archeology, food safety and nuclear medicine? Or to help industry with such things as locating cracks in steel, getting rid of dust from film, or measuring the amount of air whipped into ice cream? And that nuclear power provides 20% of the electricity in the United States?  

The mission of the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy is to advance nuclear power as a resource capable of meeting the nation's energy, environmental and national security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, proliferation resistance and security barriers through research, development and demonstration. The Energy Department is also strongly committed to supporting graduate education, competitive research and advanced scientific tools in the areas of nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry and nuclear engineering.

Our Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) funds projects with American universities to facilitate collaborations that lead to breakthroughs in nuclear energy technologies, specifically on breakthroughs that align with the mission of the Office of Nuclear Energy. The broad goal of these projects is to engage the university community on larger research projects designed to benefit from the involvement of multiple universities, as well as industry, utility and national laboratory partners.

Through this investment, the Department is also training and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry.

To find out about the science and technology of nuclear science, which national laboratories and universities are involved in the research, what happened at symposia on nuclear science, discoveries and more, go to Science Accelerator, a gateway to science that includes R&D results, project descriptions, accomplishments and resources. Science Accelerator is an easy to use, robust resource of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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