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UW-Madison engineers receive $4.7 million in nuclear energy research funding

Written By: Adam Malecek

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded about $4.7 million in funding to University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers for advanced nuclear energy research.

Of the 39 U.S. universities receiving funding from the DOE’s Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), UW-Madison garnered the largest funding total from direct awards in 2018, not including sub-awards from other sources.

In total, the DOE awarded $47 million in grants to support 63 university-led research and development projects nationwide. NEUP seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research by providing top science and engineering faculty and their students opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities.

UW-Madison engineers are principal investigators on six NEUP projects. Those projects include:

$799,990 to develop advanced coating and surface modification technologies for hydrothermal corrosion protection of SiC-SiC composite in normal light water reactor operation environments. (Kumar Sridharan, distinguished research professor of engineering physics and materials science and engineering)

$800,000 to evaluate and develop two technologies used for field mitigation and repair of stress corrosion cracking in stainless steel nuclear fuel storage canisters. (Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Frank Pfefferkorn)

$800,000 to develop corrosion-resistant coatings and liners for structural materials for use in fuel in future molten salt reactors. (Engineering Physics Assistant Professor Adrien Couet)

$796,792 to develop and evaluate specific advanced metallic alloys for structural components in fluoride salt-cooled molten salt reactors. (James Blanchard, Thomas and Suzanne Werner Professor of engineering physics and College of Engineering executive associate dean)

$799,669 for a project that will measure the fission product uptake and retention in a column of liquid sodium under prototypic conditions. (Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Mark Anderson)

$797,820 for a project to establish big data analytics solutions to significantly advance the ability to assess equipment condition and support optimal maintenance decision-making in nuclear power plants. (Industrial and Systems Engineering Assistant Professor Kaibo Liu)