Infrastructure Award Recipients Announced

The Department of Energy is awarding $6 million to 23 colleges and universities through the Nuclear Energy University Programs to support research reactor infrastructure improvements, ensuring that American universities have the best equipment and tools available to educate the next generation of industry leaders and strengthen U.S. competitiveness in nuclear R&D. These awards will upgrade the existing fleet of research reactors and support equipment and infrastructure improvements, making these reactors more efficient and in line with industry advances.

A full list of infrastructure recipients is listed below.


FY 2012 Nuclear Energy University Programs Awards

FY12 University Selection for Infrastructure Awards

(Actual project funding will be established during contract negotiation phase)

Lead Research University


Grant Amount

Lead University Location

(City, State)


Project Description

Major Reactor Upgrades
Purdue University


West Lafayette, IN Purdue University will replace its existing Instrumentation and Control systems with modern, solid-state technology that will reduce unscheduled maintenance downtime, increase the availability and improve the safety of the reactor for use in its education, training, and research mission.
University of Wisconsin, Madison $433,082 Madison, WI University of Wisconsin-Madison will refinish its existing hot cell and install the infrastructure necessary for sample preparation and testing and relocate the existing CLIM facility within the UWNR and take advantage of an integrated radiation monitoring system.
Total $1,709,894    
Minor Reactor Upgrades
University of Utah $24,000 Salt Lake City, UT University of Utah will upgrade and improve its TRIGA (UUTR) facilities including its fuel handling tool. The tool, which is used for research, services, and training of students, will be used for a variety of experiments including control rod worth measurement, thermal power calibration, neutron activation and critical fuel loading.
Washington State University $143,945 Pullman, WA Washington State University will acquire three pieces of equipment including a NLW Wide Range log-power Channel, NPP-1000 Pulse Power Channel, and a radiation-tolerant underwater camera.
Oregon State University $62,244 Corvallis, OR Oregon State University will provide over $23,000 in cost share to upgrade and automate the pneumatic transfer system serving their 1 MW Mark II TRIGA reactor.
Kansas State University $136,470 Manhattan, KS Kansas State University will replace its control rod drive mechanisms and airborne radioactivity monitoring system. The old equipment will be used as a backup system improving the reliability of the Kansas State TRIGA reactor.
Texas A&M University $200,000 College Station, TX Texas A&M University will provide over $64,000 in cost share to improve operability of its reactor by a power uprate of about 1.5 MW and by replacing a 54-year old compressor. The funds will allow the reactor to provide additional capabilities to researchers in the same timeframe and reduce the amount of maintenance downtime.
University of Florida $167,412 Gainesville, FL The University of Florida will purchase a Canberra CAM110G Series Continuous Air Monitor for online Ar-41 effluent monitoring. The new air monitoring system will allow significant upgrades to allow relicensing of the facility by the NRC and improve the uptime availability of the reactor for training of student and research activities. University of Florida will cost share and additional $17,000.
University of Missouri-Columbia $149,951 Columbia, MO University of Missouri, Columbia will provide over $16,000 in cost share to acquire a new NI system drawer and associated amplifiers and replacement components.
University of New Mexico $50,000 Albuquerque, NM The University of New Mexico will complete a system update including a new computer data acquisition card, associated electronics, and a physical test stand. The new equipment will improve reliability of the newly* relicensed reactor.
North Carolina State University $123,840 Raleigh, NC North Carolina State University will develop a modern digital image plate system that will establish a high resolution digital neutron imaging capability at the NCSU PULSTAR reactor.
Colorado School of Mines $148,667 Golden, CO The Colorado School of Mines will add several modular filters, provide additional neutron detection and measurement equipment, and obtain image conversion foils needed to conduct film-based neutron radiography.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute $150,000 Troy, NY Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will upgrade its Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility to extend the experimental and operational capabilities of the facility for teaching and training students, conducting research, and performing subcritical experiments in support of generating bench mark data.
The Ohio State University $150,000 Columbus, OH The Ohio State University will contribute $144 in cost share to upgrade and enhance the radiological monitoring systems necessary for safe operation of the OSU Research Reactor (OSURR) and infrastructure that supports the safe handling, monitoring, storage, and emergency response capabilities for the use of radionuclides produced using the OSURR.
Total $1,506,529    
General Scientific Infrastructure
Washington State University $90,608 Pullman, WA Washington State University will add new instrumentation to an existing suite of equipment supporting radioactive materials research. The equipment focuses on lanthanide and actinide metal ions to support research into future fuel cycles that support actinide transmutation.
The Curators of the University of Missouri Science & Technology $300,000 Rolla, MO Missouri University of Science and Technology will add three workstations for spectroscopy of alpha particle, beta particle and gamma ray, neutron measurement, and x-ray exposure measurement. Funds will also be used for a facility upgrade for distance education. Missouri S&T will provide an additional $50,000 in cost share.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $224,935 Blacksburg, VA Virginia Tech will establish a laboratory for research and education in the area of radiation measurement, simulation and visualization. Equipment purchases include basic sets of radiation detection instruments and sources along with a computer cluster and displays to provide particle transport measurement, simulation and visualization. Virginia Tech will cost share an additional $25,000.
Georgia Tech Research Corporation $250,000 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech will enhance the capabilities of its Radiological Science and Engineering Laboratory by upgrading an existing neutron generator as well as adding a mass spectrometer gas analysis unit and a thermal evaporator system for neutron detector research and development.
Alcorn State University $226,420 Alcorn State, MS Alcorn State University will upgrade its existing basic level nuclear instrumentation laboratory and expand its radiation research laboratory for its Health Physics program. Funds will be used to purchase a high purity germanium detector (HP Ge), an alpha spectrometer, vacuum pump, cables, NaI detectors, GM tubes, radioactive supplies, and laboratory supplies.
Oregon State University $183,158 Corvallis, OR Oregon State University will build a calorimetric and thermogravimetric analytical (TGA) instrumentation capability. Also, they will acquire a Nano Isothermal Titration Calorimeter and Thermogravimetric Analyzer.
Virginia Commonwealth University $199,256 Richmond, VA Virginia Commonwealth University will build educational and research infrastructure for its new nuclear engineering program. The funds will be used to enhance the instrumentation available at VCU's radiation detection and measurement laboratories and to acquire nuclear materials testing instrumentation.
Colorado State University $260,000 Fort Collins, CO Colorado State University's Health Physics program will update instrumentation to reflect current equipment used by industry and utilize measurement equipment to perform research in forensic identification of radioactive materials, detection of sources, and environmental effect of nuclear reactor effluents. Colorado State will provide a cost share of $10,000.
University of Pittsburgh $300,000 Pittsburgh. PA University of Pittsburgh will cost share $50,000 to purchase detectors, instrumentation, and sources to establish and equip a new Radiation Detection and Measurement Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.
University of Texas at Austin $232,453 Austin, TX The University of Texas at Austin will implement a dedicated low-level background gamma-ray counting Compton suppression system for teaching and research of nuclear engineering students. University of Texas at Austin will cost share $50,000 for a full dedicated low-level gamma facility that will be used for counting times between 12-24 hours to perform measurements in low level gamma-ray studies in nuclear forensics, radiochemistry, fission product experiments, and nonproliferation.
Illinois Institute of Technology $300,000 Chicago, IL The Illinois Institute of Technology will provide $200,000 cost share to acquire an Electron detector and the supporting Vacuum equipment used to better understand damage mechanisms due to heavy ion irradiations in both fuels and structural materials.
Colorado School of Mines $255,402 Golden, CO Colorado School of Mines will provide $5,400 in cost share to acquire a RoboMet.3D and Avizo Fire Edition 7.0 for its Active Materials Characterization Laboratory. The upgrade will enhance sample throughput and will expand the digital microstructure imaging and tomographic capabilities available at Colorado School of Mines.
 Total $2,822,232    
 Total Funding $6,038,655    

*Actual project funding will be established during contract negotiation phase.