NC State has been awarded 10 NEUP grants for research reactor and infrastructure improvements totaling over $4 million. These grants have allowed the NRP to add state-of-the-art equipment, including two facilities that are the only ones of their kinds in the United States – an intense positron beam and an ultra-cold neutron source. These grants have also funded upgraded power of the PULSTAR reactor, the establishment of a hot cell capability, new reactor control console instrumentation and monitoring equipment, and other improvements that allow for greater research capabilities.
The Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research (CINR) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) consists of three research and
development (R&D) components. The Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) awards competitively funded research and
development opportunities in two main areas—fuel cycles and reactor concepts. The Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies
(NEET) Crosscutting Technology Development (CTD) program funds research that complements NEUP R&D. Programs partner
with the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) program to provide R&D funds with access to one-of-a-kind facilities to enable
research not typically available to university and industry researchers.
Dr. Colby Jensen grew up on a farm outside the small town of
Preston, Idaho, physically close to Idaho National Laboratory
(INL) and yet a world apart in many ways. He had no ambition
to one day work as a researcher at the lab; in fact, he had little
knowledge of the lab despite living just a few hours away. But
after going away for college and eventually earning his Ph.D.,
Jensen realized that INL was exactly where he wanted to work.
The Fouride High Temperature Salt-Cooled Reactor or FHR, was designed through NEUP's first Integrated Research Project (IRP). DOE-NE has supported university development of this reactor design with dozens of projects since 2011. Kairos Power spun off of these projects in 2016 to be the first nuclear start-up to demonstrate the reactor design.
NEUP Infrastrucutre grants have facilitated the development and growth of unique university facilities focused on a variety of nuclear energy related topics. This is the story of three unique facility upgrades that have resulted in groundbreaking advances for nuclear infrastructure at U.S. universites.
LCW Supercritical Technologies, through two NEUP projects and two follow-on SBIR projects, has developed a viable process for collecting uranium from seawater and extracting uranium through a chemical elution process using acrylic yarn, a common household item.
DOE-NE is building the nuclear energy workforce of tomorrow through student support with its Integrated University Program and research funding support through NEUP. Since 2009, more than 2,400 students have received support through these programs. Students have been supported in various disciplines that support nuclear energy research.