TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has been awarded $607,505 to help develop technologies to reduce the waste and storage challenges associated with Advanced Nuclear Reactor fuel cycles. The funding is from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

Molten salt reactor is a technology designed to meet future energy needs through improved safety and reliability, as well as high energy efficiency and effective use of nuclear resources. However, managing the complex waste streams from molten salt technologies is a challenge in practice. Rensselaer researchers will focus on developing a solution for managing these complex fluoride salt waste streams.

“Effective management of fluoride salt waste is critical for the sustainable development of advanced nuclear fuel cycles and future nuclear technologies,” said Dr. Jie Lian, professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer. “The recovery and recycling of valuable Li from salt waste is also important as Li is an indispensable and critical resource in large demand for renewable energy applications.”

The funding is through ARPA-E’s “Optimizing Nuclear Waste and Advanced Reactor Disposal Systems” (ONWARDS) program. This project is one of 11 projects selected by the ONWARDS program to receive funding to reduce nuclear waste, and support safe and sustainable domestic fuel stocks.

“I congratulate Professor Jie Lian and the team on receiving this important and highly competitive award. Dr. Lian’s work is at the forefront of applying the fundamental understanding of advanced materials to many important energy applications with impact on safety, recovery of materials, and sustainability,” said Dr. Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer.