Rensselaer Researcher Awarded $740K From Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Research on Nuclear Materials and Technology

Grants will assist the NRC in fuel development and risk assessment

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was awarded $740,000 for research and education from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The project is led by Professor Jie Lian, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at RPI, and Prof. Shanbin Shi's co-PI project from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

The project targets the transient behavior of nuclear fuels under prototypical temperature transients and the development of a microstructure-informed fuel fragmentation model. The results obtained from this project will be essential to evaluate the performance of high burnup fuels and assist the NRC for risk-informed decision-making in licensing accident-tolerant fuels for reactor operation. 

“As nuclear energy becomes more and more prevalent, the importance of understanding safety and risk associated with fuel reactor operation is that much more critical,” said Lian.  “We are excited to be awarded this grant from the NRC to assist them in advancing nuclear energy.”

Prof. Shanbin Shi is a co-PI of the project led by Virginia Tech for a comprehensive experimental and modeling study of annual two-phase flow for the safety analysis of current light water reactors and future advanced reactors.

The NRC will distribute more than $10 million in grants to 20 university-led projects. A total of 89 projects were submitted, all focused on exploring nuclear materials and technologies. All proposals relate to safety for reactor designs and fuel cycle technologies. 

Read the official awards announcement by the NRC.