The US has announced up to $40 million (£28m) of funding to limit the amount of fuel waste produced from advanced nuclear reactors, helping protect the land and air.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), nuclear power is one of the most reliable sources of energy in the US, providing 52% of the nation’s electricity in 2020 and around a fifth of overall power.
Nuclear power production, however, produces around 2,000 metric tons of used fuel each year that must be disposed and safely stored.
The funding for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) programme aims to address the challenges posed by the limited disposal options for spent nuclear fuel through the development of novel processes and applications at the start of a fuel cycle that prevents the formation of nuclear waste.
The DOE believes proactively reducing the amount of waste from advanced reactors poses an innovative opportunity that will enable the future deployment of nuclear power.
Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “More than half of our zero carbon energy is generated from nuclear power and through this groundbreaking research we can expand nuclear’s potential.
“America is an innovation leader and DOE is proud to invest in the next generation of nuclear energy technologies that will power the nation and protect our environment.”