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NC State Researcher Receives Grant to Study Nuclear Safety, Waste Reuse

A North Carolina State University researcher has received an $800,000 grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to explore ways to reuse or otherwise safely dispose of waste from nuclear power plants.

Dr. Gary Mitchell, professor of physics at NC State, will serve as lead investigator on the project titled, “Cross Sections, Level Densities and Strength Functions.”

“Nuclear energy is easier to utilize than solar or wind energy, but if we want to start thinking about building more reactors to help alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, we have to have a solution to dealing with the byproducts from those reactors,” Mitchell says. “What we’re looking at is an alternate fuel cycle that produces a different sort of waste, and at reusing this waste in order to reduce the total amount of nuclear waste.”

The award is part of more than $20 million in NNSA grants awarded to 28 researchers from 18 states. This award was made possible through the NNSA’s Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) program.