Georgia Tech receives $1.6 million for nuclear energy projects

Science and Technology

Science and Technology

Georgia Tech receives $1.6 million for nuclear energy projects

Lance Wallace | July 12, 2018
• Atlanta, GA

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Department of Energy (DOE) crest

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded the Georgia Institute of Technology $1.6 million in two grants for testing materials used in producing nuclear energy.

DOE is awarding $47 million through its Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) to support 63 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in 29 states. NEUP seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering faculty and their students opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities.

“Because nuclear energy is such a vital part of our nation’s energy portfolio, these investments are necessary to ensuring that future generations of Americans will continue to benefit from safe, clean, reliable, and resilient nuclear energy,” said Ed McGinnis, DOE’s principal deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy. “Our commitment to providing researchers with access to the fundamental infrastructure and capabilities needed to develop advanced nuclear technologies is critical.”

The awards are dispersed under three DOE nuclear energy programs: the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) program, and the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) program.

Georgia Tech’s projects are funded by the NEUP. The first is for corrosion testing of new alloys and accompanying on-line reduction oxidation measurements in the flow loops of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) eutectic alkaline metal fluoride salt mixture, specifically the molten salts lithium fluoride, sodium fluoride, and potassium fluoride (also called FLiNaK) as well as lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride (or FLiBe.)

“The structural alloys in fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors (FHR) will be exposed to molten fluoride salt mixtures at high temperatures, which can be very corrosive depending on the alloy composition and the presence of impurities in the molten salt. …

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