© 2024 Wyoming Public Media
800-729-5897 | 307-766-4240
Wyoming Public Media is a service of the University of Wyoming
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Transmission & Streaming Disruptions

University of Wyoming receives grant to establish new nuclear research facility

 The UW Energy Innovation center stands in the background. It is a pale brick with two rows of windows. A sign reading "Energy Innovation Center" at the top and then "School of Energy Resources," "Advising & Career Center," and "Center for Economic Geology Research" stands in front of it and a tree.
Suraj Singareddy
Wyoming Public Radio
The University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources.

The University of Wyoming (UW) recently announced plans to create a nuclear research core facility, with help from a $300,000 grant from the US Department of Energy. The facility is also receiving $600,000 in funding from UW’s School of Energy Resources. Dr. Caleb Hill, the co-director of the University’s Nuclear Energy Research Center, will be overseeing the project’s completion.

The core facility will be a dedicated space for working with radioactive materials, which Hill said will help ensure safety while conducting nuclear research. The lab will be equipped with radioactive monitors, proper storage, and other equipment to ensure that hazardous materials are not being taken out of the space.

The facility will be open to use by faculty from across UW. According to Hill, initial research could focus on the nuclear fuel cycle, materials relevant to nuclear reactor construction, and other areas.

Students with nuclear interests will also be able to utilize the lab space for both research and for coursework in relevant classes.

Wyoming’s nuclear industry is also entering a period of growth, with the announcement of TerraPower’s plans to build a nuclear power plant in Kemmerer. Hill hopes that this development will work in tandem with the lab’s establishment, which will give students the skills necessary to enter the growing industry.

“The main thing that UW has been missing in these areas is established curricula to bring students up to speed on the nuclear sector,” he said. “So we're really trying to establish that so students can have the needed background that they can take to go out and engage with that industry once they graduate.”

UW has also received funding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hire more faculty with nuclear-related interests. Hill said the creation of a dedicated research space and the addition of new faculty will help bolster the university’s nuclear program back to what it used to be.

“We used to have a research reactor on campus. We used to have dedicated nuclear engineering and radiochemistry programs, but that had fallen to the wayside,” he said. “But there's no reason that we can’t get to a place where nuclear science, engineering, policy concerns, etc. have a prominent place here.”

The facility is slated to be up and running within a year.

Suraj Singareddy is originally from Atlanta, GA, and is a rising junior at Yale University. He's currently an English major with a minor in computer science. He also helps run the Yale Daily News' podcast department, writes for a science-fiction magazine called Cortex, and likes to do different theatre-y stuff around campus. He also loves to read comics and graphic novels in his free time, and is always looking for book recommendations!
Related Content