Accelerator technologies get a boost from the DOE

March 18, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy on March 16 announced $18 million in new particle accelerator technology funding that includes $5 million for university-based traineeships for accelerator scientists and engineers.

Accelerating solutions: Beams of charged particles are powerful tools for scientific research, and particle accelerators have also been used in medical imaging and cancer therapy, in the manufacturing of semiconductors, and as a nonchemical method of destroying pathogens and toxic chemicals.

The DOE’s national laboratories have played a critical role in the development of particle accelerator technologies since 1930, when Ernest Lawrence, founder of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, developed the first circular particle accelerator.

“Accelerator-based technologies are all around us,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “This new funding will help us discover even more opportunities to advance the health and prosperity of our nation and planet with the best technology available, while investing in the next generation of American problem-solvers.”

The specifics: Up to $6 million will be awarded under the DOE’s Accelerator Stewardship Program in the Office of Accelerator R&D and Production to focus on technologies for medical, energy, industrial, and security applications that can benefit American society.

Another $7 million will be awarded under the DOE’s Data Analytics for Autonomous Optimization and Control of Accelerators and Detectors funding opportunity from the Office of Nuclear Physics and will focus on tackling technical challenges, optimizing the operations of complex accelerators, and advancing experimental discovery at labs and facilities across the nation.

Up to $5 million will be awarded under the DOE’s Traineeship in Accelerator Science and Engineering funding opportunity from the Office of High Energy Physics and will go toward traineeships at universities with accelerator programs, including minority-serving institutions.

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