The Secretary shall conduct a program to invest in human resources and infrastructure in the nuclear sciences and related fields, including health physics, nuclear engineering, and radiochemistry, consistent with missions of the Department related to civilian nuclear research, development, demonstration, and commercial application.
In carrying out the program under this section, the Secretary shall—
(1)conduct a graduate and undergraduate fellowship program to attract new and talented students, which may include fellowships for students to spend time at National Laboratories in the areas of nuclear science, engineering, and health physics with a member of the National Laboratory staff acting as a mentor;
(2)conduct a junior faculty research initiation grant program to assist universities in recruiting and retaining new faculty in the nuclear sciences and engineering by awarding grants to junior faculty for research on issues related to nuclear energy engineering and science;
(3)support fundamental nuclear sciences, engineering, and health physics research through a nuclear engineering education and research program;
(4)encourage collaborative nuclear research among industry, National Laboratories, and universities; and
(5)support communication and outreach related to nuclear science, engineering, and health physics.
(c) University-National Laboratory interactions
The Secretary shall conduct—
(1)a fellowship program for professors at universities to spend sabbaticals at National Laboratories in the areas of nuclear science and technology; and
(2)a visiting scientist program in which National Laboratory staff can spend time in academic nuclear science and engineering departments.
(d) Strengthening university research and training reactors and associated infrastructure
In carrying out the program under this section, the Secretary may support—
(1)converting research reactors from high-enrichment fuels to low-enrichment fuels and upgrading operational instrumentation;
(2)consortia of universities to broaden access to university research reactors;
(3)student training programs, in collaboration with the United States nuclear industry, in relicensing and upgrading reactors, including through the provision of technical assistance; and
(4)reactor improvements as part of a taking into consideration effort that emphasizes research, training, and education, including through the Innovations in Nuclear Infrastructure and Education Program or any similar program.
(e) Operations and maintenance
Funding for a project provided under this section may be used for a portion of the operating and maintenance costs of a research reactor at a university used in the project.
In this section, the term “junior faculty” means a faculty member who was awarded a doctorate less than 10 years before receipt of an award from the grant program described in subsection (b)(2).
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