Your NPR news source

U of I wins nuclear safety research grant

SHARE U of I wins nuclear safety research grant
U of I wins nuclear safety research grant

Flickr/Michal Brcak

A $538,000 research grant will help the University of Illinois find ways to make nuclear power plants safer and more efficient.

The Champaign News-Gazette reports that the U.S. Department of Energy grant focuses on developing new technology and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry.

There are currently seven nuclear power plants in Illinois, six of which are operational, as well as an additional three plants in the nearby regions of Wisconsin and southwest Michigan.

In May, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission demanded that operators of the 104 U.S. nuclear reactors, including those in Illinois, submit detailed information about how they planned to respond to extreme emergency situations, including a possible terrorist attack.

James Stubbins, head of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering at the University of Illinois, says researchers will study materials that can withstand extraordinarily high temperatures and resist corrosion.

Stubbins says that would make nuclear energy more efficient and make plant equipment less likely to leak.

The university’s research project could start by Oct. 1.

The Latest
It’s election day, and hundreds of teens are serving as election judges. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that could impact more than one million student people in Illinois with college debt. Local groups are stepping up to provide shelter for asylum seekers arriving in Chicago.