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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Energy Department allocates $16 million to fund education on nuclear energy

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The U.S. Department of Energy announced the release of $16 million to support community-level education on consent-based siting, spent nuclear fuel management and interim storage facility siting considerations, according to a release published Tuesday. The funding will be shared among eight awardees over 18 to 24 months.

“Producing safe, reliable nuclear energy here at home is key to reaching President Biden’s clean energy goals, and DOE wants to advance the discussion of how communities can best host a variety of nuclear facilities,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “With this funding, we are facilitating constructive, community-based discussions around the consensual solutions for storing spent nuclear fuel in order to harness the true power of clean nuclear energy.”

Awardees are expected to support mutual learning at the community level, provide easy access to information and spark open conversations.

Funding-backed tasks will belong to one of three groups.

First is organization, leadership, and maintenance of meaningful, inclusive community engagement processes related to the management of spent nuclear fuel. Second is identifying public values, interests and goals to promote and enable effective collaboration and community-driven feedback on the consent-based siting process for a potential consolidated interim storage facility. Third is developing, implementing, and reporting outcomes and strategies that support mutual learning among stakeholders, communities, and experts on spent nuclear fuel-related topics, according to the Energy Department.

The Office of Nuclear Energy echoed the announcement in a Twitter post published Tuesday.

"@ENERGY announces $16 million to support consent-based siting activities to help manage nation’s spent nuclear fuel," the tweet read.

"@ENERGY plans to fund six to eight awardees to help provide resources to communities interested in learning more about: Consent-based siting, management of spent nuclear fuel, interim storage facility siting considerations," another tweet stated.

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