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Photo of faculty members Kirkland, McDeavitt and Sanchez

Three Texas A&M University researchers’ proposals were among 89 projects selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy for funding for nuclear energy research, facility access, and crosscutting technology and infrastructure development. The projects are part of the nearly $64 million in awards for advanced nuclear energy technology to DOE national laboratories, industry and 39 U.S. universities in 29 states.

“Because nuclear energy is such a vital part of our nation’s energy portfolio, these investments are necessary to ensuring that future generations of Americans will continue to benefit from safe, clean, reliable and resilient nuclear energy,” said Ed McGinnis, DOE’s principal deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy. “Our commitment to providing researchers with access to the fundamental infrastructure and capabilities needed to develop advanced nuclear technologies is critical.”

Principal investigators from Texas A&M were:

Dr. Karen Vierow Kirkland, associate professor and associate department head in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, received $748,000 for “Innovative Use of Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATF) with the RCIC System to Enhance Passive Safety of Commercial BWRs.”

Dr. Sean McDeavitt, associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and director of the Nuclear Science Center, was awarded $500,000 for “Demonstration of a Methodology for Direct Validation of MARMOT Irradiation-Induced Microstructural Evolution and Physical Property Models Using U-10Zr.” Dr. Karim Ahmed, assistant professor in the nuclear engineering department, is a collaborator on the project.

Dr. Marcelo Sanchez, professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, was awarded $608,375 for his proposal, “Impact of Coupled Gas Migration and Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Processes on the Performance of Repositories for High Level Nuclear Waste.”

Three faculty members from the Department of Nuclear Engineering were collaborators with researchers from other universities, including:

Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov, associate professor, working with The Ohio State University on “Development of Optical Fiber Based Gamma Thermometer and its Demonstration in a University Research Reactor Using Statistical Data Analytic Methods to Infer Power Distributions from Gamma Thermometer Response.”

Dr. Yassin Hassan, department head and the Sallie & Don Davis '61 Professor in Nuclear Engineering, working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on “Accurate and Efficient Parametric Model-Order Reduction for Turbulent Thermal Transport.”

Dr. Lin Shao, professor, working with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on “Bridging Microscale to Macroscale Mechanical Property Measurements and Predication of Performance Limitation for Fecral Alloys Under Extreme Reactor Applications.”

The awards were dispersed under three DOE nuclear energy programs: the Nuclear Energy University program, the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program and the Nuclear Science User Facilities program.