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Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems Research

Please Note that a Letter of Intent is due Tuesday, September 08, 2015 5:00pm ET Program Area Overview Office of Basic Energy SciencesThe Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) supports fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels in order to provide the foundations for new energy technologies and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security.  The results of BES_supported research are routinely published in the open literature. A key function of the program is to plan, construct, and operate premier scientific user facilities for the development of novel nanomaterials and for materials characterization through x_ray and neutron scattering; the former is accomplished through five Nanoscale Science Research Centers and the latter is accomplished through the world’s largest suite of light source and neutron scattering facilities.  These national resources are available free of charge to all researchers based on the quality and importance of proposed nonproprietary experiments. A major objective of the BES program is to promote the transfer of the results of our basic research to advance and create technologies important to Department of Energy (DOE) missions in areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, improved use of fossil fuels, the mitigation of the adverse impacts of energy production and use, and future nuclear energy sources.  The following set of technical topics represents one important mechanism by which the BES program augments its system of university and laboratory research programs and integrates basic science, applied research, and development activities within the DOE. For additional information regarding the Office of Basic Energy Sciences priorities, click here.  TOPIC 10. Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems Research  Maximum Phase I Award Amount:  $150,000 Maximum Phase II Award Amount:  $1,000,000 Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications:  YES Accepting SBIR Fast_Track Applications:  YES Accepting STTR Phase I Applications:  YES Accepting STTR Fast_Track Applications:  YES  The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), within the DOE?s Office of Science, seeks to advance actinide and fission_product separations that support the DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security [1_2]. Proposed research and development (R&D) must focus on radioactive materials. Applications proposing R&D work only with stable materials or surrogates will be considered non_responsive. Grant applications are sought in the following subtopics:  a. Enhanced Chemical Separation Capabilities for the Actinides More efficient and environmentally friendly processes and separations chemistry for the purification of the actinides for nuclear fuel cycles, for metal production, and at the ultra_microscale for nuclear forensics and other applications are greatly needed. Many of our current chemical processes were developed more than sixty years ago and suffer from inefficiency. For the anticipated large expansion in the use of nuclear power to be realized, the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation from nuclear_energy operations must be minimized, and an inexpensive, publicly acceptable pathway to deal with the used nuclear fuel must be established that will necessitate separation of waste constituents.   Questions ? contact: Philip Wilk, philip.wilk@science.doe.gov b. Technetium Characterization, Removal, and Disposition Among radioactive constituents present in waste, technetium (Tc) presents a unique challenge with its long half_life, complex chemical behavior, and mobility in the subsurface environment; therefore presenting a persistent concern. Its volatility makes incorporation into a durable waste form a challenge for nuclear waste management. Retrieval from existing waste tanks, potential separation, and immobilization must address multiple chemical species and their behavior.  The technical challenges associated with Tc can be divided into three main areas:  1) Tc characterization, including understanding inventory, speciation, distribution, detection and quantification methods; 2) Tc separation/removal from process streams; and 3) Tc disposition, including behavior in waste forms (glass, grout, etc). Questions ? Contact: Philip Wilk, philip.wilk@science.doe.gov c. Other In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.         Questions ? Contact: Philip Wilk, philip.wilk@science.doe.gov

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