Missouri University of Science and Technology is one of 31 U.S. universities selected by the Department of Energy to advance nuclear technologies in support of the nation’s energy goals.
Combined, the universities will receive approximately $44 million over three years to develop technologies that address the global climate crisis and move the nation toward greater use of nuclear energy. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the research awards on May 6.
Missouri S&T is developing iron phosphate-based glasses for high-level nuclear waste disposal. These glasses can be processed to contain large concentrations of nuclear waste components in a way that keeps those components from dissolving in groundwater.
Dr. Delbert Day, Curators’ Professor emeritus of ceramic engineering, first developed the glasses at S&T. The work is being continued by researchers like Dr. Mark Schlesinger, professor of materials science and engineering, and Dr. Richard Brow, Curators’ Professor of materials science and engineering.
The S&T researchers will use the DOE funding to enhance the properties of the glasses and develop models that predict corrosion rates. The $376,000 project is expected to last two years.
The DOE also announced that it is accepting applications for nuclear science and engineering scholarships. As part of the DOE’s efforts to recruit and train the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers, approximately $2.9 million in university scholarships and fellowships will be awarded to students. More information is available at www.caesenergy.org.