Skip Navigation LinksFY22_IRP_Awards

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​FY 2022 Integrated Research Projects Awards

The Department of Energy is awarding $24.9 million for seven Integrated Research Projects (IRPs), which address well-defined but highly complex technical issues impacting key Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) mission objectives. IRPs are multi-million dollar, three-year projects executed by university-led consortiums that typically include multiple universities, industrial and international research entities, and the unique resources of the DOE National Laboratories. IRPs comprise a significant element of DOE's innovative nuclear research objectives and illustrate NE's strategy to pursue R&D solutions most directly relevant to the near-term, significant needs of the NE R&D programs.

IRP award recipients are listed below.

FY 2022 Integrated Research Project Awards
Title Lead University


Funding Amount* Project Description
​Understanding of ATF Cladding Performance under Radiation using MITR Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The objective of this proposal is to study ATF (Accident Tolerant Fuel) Cladding performance under radiation in collaboration with leading institutions and all major US ATF vendors. The project will provide unique hands-on training for the next generation of nuclear engineers on nuclear fuel R&D, which is at the heart of nuclear energy technology development.
Reduction, Mitigation, and Disposal Strategies for the Graphite Waste of High Temperature Reactors​
State University of New York, Stony Brook
This project intends to develop economically attractive and environmentally sound irradiated graphite waste management strategies resulting in specific and significant cost savings for advanced nuclear systems.  The will be a achieved through a combined modeling, analysis, technology development, and disposal science and regulatory studies campaign.  
​Bridging the gap between experiments and modeling to improve design of molten salt reactors University of California, Berkeley
​The scope of this project is to improve our understanding of the role of impurities and fission products on the operational performance of MSRs as well as potential impact on accident scenarios. A key target is to contribute to the development of MSRs solving real world issues and for this reason we will work closely with two MSRs vendors representing the two different categories: liquid  fuel and solid fuel MSRs.
​Advancing Diffusion Bonding for Compact Heat Exchangers: Development of Enabling Fabrication Technology for Compact Heat Exchangers for Advanced Reactors

​University of Michigan
​This project will provide scientific understanding to optimize the diffusion bonding process to be used in creating compact heat exchangers.   Additionally, it will develop acceptance criteria for bonding processes that could be implemented by the ASME BPVC committees.  These results will inform future code cases for the use of these compact heat exchangers.
SUSTAIN: SUpporting Strategic Training of Adaptable and Integrated Nuclear Workforce

​University of Nevada, Las Vegas
​This project develops a comprehensive/actionable plan to ensure a diverse pool of skilled workers to support the continued viability of the nuclear industry. A gap analysis integrating data and stakeholder input will identify workforce needs. Insights gained will be translated into actionable educational content for K-12, community colleges, trade schools, and undergraduate/graduate programs as well as increasing awareness of nuclear sector employment opportunities and benefits of nuclear power.
​Integrating socially led co-design into consent-based siting of interim storage facilities

University of Oklahoma
​This project explores a qualitatively different approach to engaging with potential host communities (PHCs) about siting interim storage facilities (ISFs). This new approach engages with PHCs to explore the implications of partnering on co-design of a prospective facility with project engineers. The process will be a collaborative engagement between community representatives and project engineers, with both groups learning from each other as they jointly pursue an effective ISF siting process.
​Developing the technical basis and risk assessment tools for flexible plant operation​

​University of Tennessee at Knoxville
This proposal addresses challenges related to operations and maintenance, human factors, and risk assessment to enable flexible plant operation and generation (FPOG).
Nuclear energy is potentially well suited to flexible missions, including efficient and cost-effective co-generation with industrial heat applications. There are inherent challenges and regulatory concerns associated with expanded application of the existing fleet of light water reactors to support on- and off-grid applications.  


*Actual project funding will be established during contract negotiation phase.​