SharePoint

Skip Navigation LinksFY22_RandD_Awards

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​FY 2022 Research and Development Awards

DOE is awarding more than $24.3 million through NEUP to support thirty-eight university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in twenty-one states. NEUP seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering faculty and their students with opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities. 

A complete list of R&D projects with their associated abstracts is available below.      

NEUP 2022 R&D Award Abstracts
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Description
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26882_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26882.pdf
22
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyResearch and DevelopmentCrosscutting Technologies$800,000
This study investigates the economic and environmental value of a floating integrated GW-scale green hydrogen/ammonia production facility powered by an advanced nuclear reactor. Floating Production Storage and Offloading units (FPSOs) are deployed worldwide in the oil and gas industry, and can be used for hydrogen and ammonia processing. Deployment of an advanced reactor on a floating platform offers several advantages, including the efficiencies of shipyard fabrication.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26919_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26919.pdf
22
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteResearch and DevelopmentCrosscutting Technologies$500,000
This project proposes an integrated approach/methodology to design, manufacture and verify functionally-graded metal-ceramic composite coatings on structural alloys with desired interfacial properties, capabilities of mitigating residual stress and improved corrosion resistance for molten salt reactor applications.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26607_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26607.pdf
22
Texas A&M UniversityResearch and DevelopmentCrosscutting Technologies$800,000
This project seeks to develop an innovative sensor technology for real-time monitoring of the thermo-mechanical stresses in the reactor vessel of micro-HTGR. The technology will be based on a sparse network of outer wall temperature measurements and plant operating conditions. An integrated software-hardware sensing system aimed at monitoring the health of the pressure vessel of gas micro-reactors will be implemented and tested. The proposed work will have a broad impact on sensing in other reactor designs.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26726_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26726.pdf
22
University of California, BerkeleyResearch and DevelopmentCrosscutting Technologies$500,000
This project proposes fast and high throughput mechanical testing of AM produced materials. It will include the generation of automated tensile testing, hardness testing and microstructure assessment and data comparison to build data via machine learning.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27043_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-27043.pdf
22
University of MichiganResearch and DevelopmentCrosscutting Technologies$500,000
The goal of the proposed work is to accelerate traditional irradiation creep using instrumented in-situ ion irradiation creep and long-time molecular dynamics simulations to accelerate traditional neutron irradiation creep testing. This goal will be accomplished by coupling a novel ion beam flux jump test using tapered creep specimens and self-adaptive accelerated molecular dynamics. The outcome is a rapid, low-cost accelerated method to determine the fundamental irradiation creep mechanisms.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26931_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26931.pdf
22
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityResearch and DevelopmentCrosscutting Technologies$399,969
The primary goal of this proposed project is to develop a database of NDA signatures from a wide variety of used PBR pebbles. This database can be used for facility operations, safety, security, and safeguards (3S) to directly measure fission product content and indirectly 235U and plutonium content of each PBR pebble. This project has significant synergy with current 3S PBR research at ANL, BNL, and ORNL, all of whom are collaborators to this proposed project.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26530_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26530.pdf
22
Clemson UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
The objective of this work is to measure aerosol deposition and resuspension rates in laboratory models of dry cask storage systems to compare with and validate the DOE deposition model. The project team will conduct experiments to directly measure the deposition/resuspension rates of bulk aerosol in the system and to isolate and quantify individual aerosol deposition mechanisms, with a focus on those sensitive to variable humidity and surface temperature.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26700_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26700.pdf
22
Florida International UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$400,000
The goal is to decrease HALEU fuel cycle costs by examination of the redox behavior of U, Np, and Pu at the water-organic interface using amide functionalized electrodes, and in organic media after extraction with amides. Experiments with redox active interferences including additional actinides in different oxidation states will also be conducted.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27048_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-27048.pdf
22
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
Project aims to: (1) Investigate near term opportunities of accident tolerant fuels for light water cooled small modular reactors (LWR-SMR) design spaces with Holtec’s SMR-160 as the reference plant for the US university partners and Rolls-Royce’s UK-SMR as the reference plant for UK university partners (2) Simulate the fuel and safety performance of Lightbridge concept for the NuScale SMR (3) Provide scoping analysis of promising longer term advanced fuel forms to improve the safety and economics of LWR-SMRs.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26817_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26817.pdf
22
North Carolina State UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
A key technology gap for advanced high-performance fuel applications is the current unavailability of materials that can withstand extremely high doses without significant degradation of cladding performance. The project team will perform in-situ thermo-mechanical experiments (tension, torsion, creep, and creep-fatigue and nanoindentation) on ion-irradiated (to 400 dpa) cladding materials (up to 700 C) along with microstructures using TEM and mesoscale phase field simulations.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26930_TechnicalAbstract_2020CFATechnicalAbstract22-26930.pdf
22
Pennsylvania State UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$400,000
This research aims to develop a molten salt community framework to address the needs in advanced fuel cycles, including understanding salts via new theory of liquids, predicting salt characteristics via simulations (DFT, MD, and CALPHAD by implementing advanced models), optimizing inversely molten salts, and verifying simulations by experiments. This project has outstanding value for US taxpayers, educates students, and delivers outreach opportunities for academia, industry, and the public.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26681_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26681.pdf
22
Pennsylvania State UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$400,000
The objective of the proposed research is to investigate the interplay between the interfacial structure of the molten salts and their electrochemical corrosion properties in Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs).
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26804_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26804.pdf
22
Princeton UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
This project will develop a new multiscale model of the thermal-hydrologic-mechanical-chemical (THMC) evolution of an engineered clay barrier in the near field of a nuclear waste repository, including initial hydration and eventual post-closure criticality. This new model will directly link micro-scale material properties to large-scale barrier performance, thus facilitating future design advances or modifications, and enable robust validation of large-scale simulation predictions.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26929_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26929.pdf
22
Purdue UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
This project proposes to employ novel informatics algorithms for mapping/scaling uncertainties from experimentally accessible scaled state to application/prototypical state, informed by an equivalent mapping obtained from high-fidelity multi-physics simulations for the fuel thermo-mechanical behavior, specifically, a rate theory-based model for thermal conductivity and fission gas behavior in the BISON code, and employing relevant HALDEN reactor and FAST experiments.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27159_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-27159.pdf
22
Texas A&M UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$399,997
The objective of this work is to develop and validate a method for measuring and predicting hold-up to eliminate operational risks and expenses during disposal of salt-wetted MSR components. These objectives will be met by applying robust measurement/detection methods to realistic salt loop environments to validate their use in decommissioning MSRs.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27240_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-27240.pdf
22
Texas A&M UniversityResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
Fundamental, experimental, and numerical investigations will be conducted to advance the current knowledge of the effect of high temperatures, up to ~200 °C on swelling pressure of compacted bentonites envisaged for the isolation of high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel. There is not a clear understanding of the effect of temperature on swelling properties of Na-smectite and Ca-smectite. Furthermore, experimental data in this subject involving high temperatures is very scarce.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27103_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-27103.pdf
22
University of California, BerkeleyResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$400,000
The goal of this project is to establish a unified selection criterion for chelating molecular structures to more efficiently address ligand applicability to metal ion separation problems, for current and future nuclear fuel cycles. By establishing this criterion, the team will seek to enable the accelerated, cost-effective discovery of new separation workflows, as well as their implementation beyond early radiotracer experiments.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27288_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-27288.pdf
22
University of Colorado, BoulderResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$385,307
This proposal will provide new Nuclear Materials Analysis (NMA) capabilities for TRISO-fueled pebbles using gamma-ray spectroscopy, through a program of simulations of expected signatures from irradiated pebbles, resulting in a detailed measurement plan to monitor burnup and actinide content throughout the fuel cycle. These simulations will be used to develop requirements for NMA sensor technology and identify opportunities for focused technology development to meet these requirements.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26935_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26935.pdf
22
University of KentuckyResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
The objective of this proposed study is to develop and test new generation of Ferritic/Martensitic (F/M) steels specifically designed for advanced reactors that will exceed the current limitations due to temperature and irradiation dose. To achieve this objective, a systematic study is proposed to employ an innovative tempering heat treatment under high external magnetic field (up to 9T) on F/M steel HT9 to engineer an optimized microstructure composed of refined carbides and martensite laths.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26614_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26614.pdf
22
University of Nevada, RenoResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$399,999
This proposal will focus on several topics needed to advance the iron phosphate process: 1) Dehalogenation/vitrification processes using salt simulants to generate process flow sheets, 2) Reactions of crucible materials with phosphate products and byproducts, 3) Collection of glass property-composition data to develop models based on the glass-forming regions, 4) Development of a process for reacting recovered NH4Cl with metals that need to be fed into the system (U, Li, etc.).
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26713_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26713.pdf
22
University of Nevada, RenoResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$799,883
This is a collaborative research program with a primary objective of developing a validated numerical framework for seismic risk analysis of spent fuel storage facilities from the global cask behavior to the localized behavior of internal spent fuel assemblies. In building and validating this framework, advanced data analysis, data assimilation, and forward and inverse modeling techniques will be utilized.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26787_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract26787.pdf
22
University of Texas at San AntonioResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
An international team of high uranium density fuels (HDFs) experts advised by industry leaders in nuclear reactor innovation propose a US-UK collaboration to advance the technical readiness of UN, UB2, and their composites for fuel forms specific to small modular reactors (SMRs). The project will bridge the critical data gaps in HDF performance specific to the impact of common impurities and microstructural variations that originate at fabrication.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26605_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26605.pdf
22
University of Wisconsin-MadisonResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$800,000
Research will focus on the development of new materials' designs for control rod sheaths and neutron absorbers, coupled with neutronics analysis and thermo-mechanical modeling to improve accident tolerance and to achieve higher fuel burnup in PWRs. Functionality of the proposed designs consisting of Cr coated control rod sheaths of current and advanced alloys as well as novel neutron absorbers will be evaluated in prototypical reactor conditions and accident scenarios.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27078_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-27078.pdf
22
University of Wisconsin-MadisonResearch and DevelopmentFuel Cycle Research and Development$400,000
The proposed research is aimed at developing ion probes to determine the optical basicity of molten fluoride salts and studying its influence on structural material corrosion. Combining with the molten salt structure study using X-ray absorption spectroscopy, the salt chemical constitution, the resulting optical basicity, and molten salt structure will be inextricably linked and their connections will be unveiled.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27042_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-27042.pdf
22
University of Tennessee at KnoxvilleResearch and DevelopmentNuclear Energy$399,522
The objective of this proposal is to extend the HEU-MET-FAST-071 (HMF-71) experiment benchmark series in ICSBEP by evaluating the historical (existing) experimental data for critical experiments with graphite reflector thickness from 3 inches up to 18 inches.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26770_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract26770.pdf
22
North Carolina State UniversityResearch and DevelopmentNuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS)$400,000
This proposal suggests a comprehensive reactor-core-component shape optimization tool embedded in MOOSE and utilizing NEAMS physics codes. For parametric optimization, connecting TAO with MOOSE provides the basis for flexible and extendible capabilities to various NEAMS codes. For actual shape optimization the team will develop 2 shape optimization algorithms: 1) discrete, based on a state-space search and NEAMS codes' automatic differentiation capabilities; 2) smooth, based on MOOSE’s displaced mesh capability.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26727_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26727.pdf
22
University of MichiganResearch and DevelopmentNuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS)$600,000
This project proposes to perform rigorous theoretical and numerical analysis of the Generalized SPn method and underlying cross section models to enable a fast and robust multiphysics low-order transport capability for advanced reactors. This includes 5 major tasks focused on the efficient discretization and solution of the GSPn equations, numerical analysis of XS models having multiphysics and depletion, analysis of equivalence factors, improved MC estimators, and several V&V applications of the methods.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27123_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract27123.pdf
22
Colorado School of MinesResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
Understanding the transient behavior of metal hydride moderator materials at high temperatures is a key challenge to the design and deployment of future microreactors. This project will use neutron radiography techniques provide the necessary data for this understanding and demonstrate the development of time and temperature dependent hydrogen transport models using both commercial FEA software coupled to MCNP and coupled models developed in the MOOSE framework.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26857_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26857.pdf.pdf
22
Oregon State UniversityResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
The project consists of conducting separate effect fuel pin failure tests with surrogate fluid and prototypic test with sodium. The outcome of this study will generate an experimental database that will be used to develop mechanistic model and validate the CDAP module of the SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code. Ultimately the quality data can be used to benchmark other fuel codes developed for LMFR application, which are seeking validation for licensing purpose.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26910_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26910.pdf
22
Purdue UniversityResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
The goal of this project is to experimentally validate ML-based autonomous control optimized for microreactors and demonstrate its use under prototypic conditions by remotely monitoring and controlling Purdue’s all digital University Reactor, PUR-1. The autonomous control architecture will be trained and tested using data from existing high-fidelity physics-based microreactor models and real-time operation digital data from PUR-1.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26695_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26695.pdf
22
University of Alaska FairbanksResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
The project aims to create an environmental justice framework for future nuclear energy deployment by (1) establishing new community engagement strategies through addressing historical contamination and concerns related to nuclear technologies, (2) building community-led environmental monitoring and data analytics capabilities for empowering citizens, and (3) developing innovative MNR applications specific to rural Alaskan communities and their needs.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26729_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26729.pdf
22
University of California, BerkeleyResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$700,000
This project proposes the development of mechanical test procedures as well as wear and friction tests on Graphite fuel pebbles
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26757_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract26757.pdf
22
University of FloridaResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$799,803
The hypothesis of this work is that the different nucleation and coarsening kinetics of manganese and nickel rich precipitates (MNPs) compared to copper rich precipitates, and the heterogeneous distribution of manganese and nickel rich precipitates on or near dislocations, both lead to unique hardening behavior at high neutron fluence. The objective of this work is to understand hardening in reactor pressure vessel steels caused by MNPs via integrated multiscale modeling and experiments.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27082_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-27082.pdf
22
University of Illinois at ChicagoResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
The objective of this proposal is to build a high temperature Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) sensor that delivers structural health monitoring (SHM) of Mechanisms Engineering Test Loop (METL) metallic structural components. The sensor will be made of aluminum nitride as the sensing element and 4H-silicon carbide as the substrate to function near ~650°C. The MEMS sensor will be dual mode by the ability to generate and detect longitudinal and torsional wave modes.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26915_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-26915.pdf
22
University of Texas at DallasResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$400,000
The overall objective of this research is to comprehensively model, design, and evaluate the use of advanced nuclear reactors in future nuclear-powered ships, to enhance the efficiency, reliability, and resilience of shipboard energy distribution systems. The novelty of the proposed approach lies in (i) integrated thermal-electric modeling of advanced nuclear-powered shipboard energy system, and (ii) novel solutions for total-ship energy management to improve energy efficiency and resiliency.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26883_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26883.pdf
22
University of Wisconsin-MadisonResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
Open architecture has potential to reduce advanced reactor (AR) costs, through exploiting modular design and construction, with common, openly available interfaces between modules. A comprehensive assessment of the challenges and opportunities of open architecture for ARs will be performed. Supported by a pilot study, actionable recommendations for the implementation or otherwise of open architecture for ARs will be developed.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-26888_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstract22-26888.pdf
22
University of Wisconsin-MadisonResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
This project proposes a design for a small modular High Temperature Reactor (HTR) control rod that extends telescopically, consisting of ~5 concentric annuli that nest together above the core when withdrawn. This compact component substantially reduces the length of the depth of the silo. Modelling and experimental testing will be performed to develop the control rod to evaluate feasibility, plus perform a cost-benefit analysis, with a view to its inclusion in both pebble bed and prismatic HTR designs.
  
https://neup.inl.gov/FY22%20Abstracts/CFA-22-27138_TechnicalAbstract_2022CFATechnicalAbstractCFA-22-27138.pdf
22
University of WyomingResearch and DevelopmentReactor Concepts Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRD&D)$800,000
TerraPower’s and PacifiCorp’s plan to site a Natrium™ advanced nuclear reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal-fired plant in Wyoming presents a unique, timely, empirical context for applied community-based environmental justice research with communities, developers, and other elite stakeholders. The proposed ethnographic, collaborative, and legal analyses will inform an adaptable, justice-based, community-engaged process for emerging and advanced nuclear energy technology siting.


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