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NMSU researchers receive $8.5 million grant for nuclear waste recycling project

Researchers at NMSU are teaming up with two national labs and TerraPower, an energy company co-founded by Bill Gates, as part of a three-year project funded by an $8.5 million grant awarded in 2022. 

The project will develop a method to recycle spent nuclear fuel, which prevents the fuel from being used for weaponry and provides a sustainable electric power source.

“(Nuclear power) offers many advantages, but one of its disadvantages is the production of radioactive waste,” says Paul Andersen, chemical and materials engineering associate professor.

Andersen and Cory Windorff, chemistry and biochemistry assistant professor, are joining TerraPower, Idaho National Lab and Savannah River National Lab on the project funded by a grant from the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The funding is part of the ARPA-E Optimizing Nuclear Waste and Advanced Reactor Disposal Systems program, which seeks to increase the deployment and use of nuclear power as a reliable source of clean energy, while limiting the amount of waste produced from advanced nuclear reactors.


Windorff (left) and Andersen