June 16, 2009

U.S. to award $9M for nuclear development

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced nearly $9 million in awards to support the next generation of American nuclear energy development.

Chu said the Department of Energy will provide $2.9 million in scholarships and fellowships to 86 U.S. nuclear science and engineering students, and will offer more than $6 million in grants to 29 U.S. universities and colleges in 23 states.

The Nuclear Energy Universities Program supports the country's nuclear energy research infrastructure while attracting high-quality undergraduate and graduate students into nuclear science and engineering disciplines.

America's leadership in nuclear energy research will be critical in addressing the country's long term energy independence and climate change goals, Chu said. We need to ensure that the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers have the training they need to research, design, build, operate and maintain U.S. nuclear power plants. Investing in these students' educations and the necessary infrastructure and equipment at their universities will help keep the United States at the research forefront for this important zero-carbon energy source.

The department is awarding 70 scholarships of $5,000 each to U.S. undergraduate students and 16 fellowships to U.S. graduate students. Each fellowship recipient will receive $50,000 a year for three years to help pay for graduate studies and research.

The awards to accredited universities or colleges range between about $100,000 and $300,000, officials said.