NRC recommends over $7 million in R&D grants

September 23, 2020, 7:12AMNuclear News

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
NRC funds
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia
Thermal Hydraulics Analysis
$499,927
Kansas State University
KansasStructural and Geotechnical Evaluations
$418,161
North Carolina State University
North CarolinaThermal-Hydraulic Verification and Validation
$500,000
Oregon State University
OregonCybersecurity Research
$500,000
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
New YorkFuels and Neutronics Analysis
$500,000
Texas A&M University
TexasThermal-Hydraulic Analysis
$500,000
Texas A&M University
TexasTRACE Code Development and Maintenance
$450,000
Texas A&M University
TexasMaterials Degradation, Analysis and Mitigation Techniques
$500,000
University of Maryland
MarylandRisk Analysis Research
$383,061
University of Maryland
Maryland
Human Reliability Analysis Methods
$500,000
University of Michigan
MichiganThermal-Hydraulic Verification and Validation
$500,000
University of Nevada–Reno
NevadaStorage (Dry Cask, Transportation)
$499,912
University of Southern California
CaliforniaStorage (Dry Cask, Transportation)
$500,000
University of Wisconsin
WisconsinAccident Tolerant Fuels (ATF)
$500,000
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
VirginiaThermal-Hydraulic Analysis
$499,517


Total Awards$7,250,578

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.


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