The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on September 21 that based on a review of 141 research and development grant proposals, it anticipates awarding more than $7.25 million in funding to 15 of the peer-reviewed proposals. The funding is part of the $16 million appropriated by Congress in fiscal year 2020 under the Integrated University Program.
While independent NRC review panels recommended the 15 R&D proposals for funding, the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research will make a final decision on the awards.
Workforce development: This is the first year that the NRC has offered a research component under the Integrated University Program, which provides funding to support research and development for nuclear science, engineering, technology, and related disciplines. The intent of the grants, according to the NRC, is to develop a workforce capable of supporting the design, construction, operation, and regulation of nuclear facilities and the safe handling of nuclear materials.
The remainder of the FY 2020 Integrated University Program funds will be allotted for scholarships, fellowships, trade schools and community colleges, and faculty development and will be awarded by the end of April 2021, the NRC said. The final research and development grant awards will be posted later this year on the NRC website.
The proposals: The following have been recommended by the NRC review panels for awards:
|Institution Name||State||Technical Area||Amount of|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Georgia||Thermal Hydraulics Analysis||$499,927|
|Kansas State University||Kansas||Structural and Geotechnical Evaluations||$418,161|
|North Carolina State University||North Carolina||Thermal-Hydraulic Verification and Validation||$500,000|
|Oregon State University||Oregon||Cybersecurity Research||$500,000|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||New York||Fuels and Neutronics Analysis||$500,000|
|Texas A&M University||Texas||Thermal-Hydraulic Analysis||$500,000|
|Texas A&M University||Texas||TRACE Code Development and Maintenance||$450,000|
|Texas A&M University||Texas||Materials Degradation, Analysis and Mitigation Techniques||$500,000|
|University of Maryland||Maryland||Risk Analysis Research||$383,061|
|University of Maryland||Maryland||Human Reliability Analysis Methods||$500,000|
|University of Michigan||Michigan||Thermal-Hydraulic Verification and Validation||$500,000|
|University of Nevada–Reno||Nevada||Storage (Dry Cask, Transportation)||$499,912|
|University of Southern California||California||Storage (Dry Cask, Transportation)||$500,000|
|University of Wisconsin||Wisconsin||Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATF)||$500,000|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute||Virginia||Thermal-Hydraulic Analysis||$499,517|
Grant opportunities are announced by the NRC on grants.gov, which enables the public to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. Panels of reviewers, from academia and the NRC, evaluate the grant proposals. According to the NRC, the composition of the panels is diverse, with most panelists having experience reviewing proposals for government agencies and advanced credentials in nuclear engineering, health physics, radiochemistry, or related disciplines. All panelists must certify no conflict of interest for the proposals they evaluate.