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Department of Energy Awards $5.6 Million to U.S. Universities for Nuclear Research

March 5, 2007 - 10:28am

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WASHINGTON, DC. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will award $5.6 million over three years (FY'07-'09), subject to appropriate from Congress, to U.S. universities in 12 cooperative research projects, under the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI).  These awards will further engage U.S. university professors and their students in advanced nuclear fuel cycle research and development (R&D), supporting President Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and his American Competitiveness Initiative.

"Engaging leading universities and researchers is crucial to supporting the development of GNEP and to expanding the use of safe, emissions-free nuclear power worldwide" Secretary Bodman said.  "As our need for energy will increase, so too does our need for nuclear power, and the Energy Department has a strong set of nuclear programs that we believe can create an environment for a nuclear renaissance."

Awards announced today support innovative research for nuclear energy and bring total federal funding for NERI to approximately $4 million in FY 2007 and; $11.4 million for the life of the projects.  Since 2005, DOE has awarded $43.9 million for 82 NERI projects.  Selected universities will contribute to the development of advanced nuclear technologies that will reduce America's reliance on fossil fuels and their associated environmental impact.

Projects selected will be conducted by 15 U.S. universities in 12 states.  Seven of these universities are participating in a NERI project for the first time, demonstrating the program's success in broadening the nation's nuclear research base: Cornell University, the University of California Davis, and the University of Missouri-Columbia as lead research institutions; Brigham Young University, Idaho State University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Texas at Austin as first-time collaborators.

Award amounts are subject to negotiation and are expected to be determined in June, 2007.  Each project's lead university will contribute an additional 20 percent cost share, totaling $1.2 million.  Projects announced today, along with ten Generation IV and Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative projects awarded earlier this year, were selected on the basis of a rigorous peer review of 79 proposals submitted by universities across the United States.

In Fiscal Year 2008, DOE's budget requested $35.6 million for research to be awarded to universities through NERI grants - as part of DOE's Generation IV Nuclear Energy Initiative, the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative, and the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative - to further support advanced nuclear energy R&D.

For additional information on these awards and GNEP, visit: http://www.nuclear.gov/.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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