Nuclear technology development at UK furthered by national grant

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Emily Girard

The University of Kentucky will be part of a nationwide awards program meant to further nuclear technology programs, according to a press release sent Friday by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The UK Department of Chemistry reported that three UK graduate students — Austin Nielsen, Manh Tien Nguyen and Henry Pruett — will be receiving awards to support their thesis research. Nielsen, Nguyen and Pruett are among 80 students nationwide to receive similar funding. The formal reception of the funds will be confirmed Tuesday, according to UK spokesperson Jay Blanton.

The $61 million program is designed to support 74 university- and laboratory-led projects focused on nuclear research and development, infrastructure improvements and career development. The initiative also includes a new nationwide Distinguished Early-Career Program, helping students and researchers find opportunities in the nuclear energy field.

Since 2009, the Department of Energy has granted over $931 million to nuclear energy projects. The press release also said this funding will help the United States achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“With funding from DOE, our nation’s universities will spur innovation and keep driving us toward our carbon-free future,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in the press release.