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DOE awards S.C. universities $300,000 for energy research

August 24, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint along with U.S. Representatives Gresham Barrett and Joe Wilson today announced a total of $300,000 will be awarded to three universities in South Carolina through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).Clemson University, South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina are among 38 schools in the nation chosen to receive the $100,000 GNEP allocation.  The funds will be used to improve each institution’s ability to conduct nuclear research and development (R&D) in an effort to discover methods to maximize energy from nuclear fuel.

homepest.JPG“As our nation’s energy needs are vastly growing– discovering educational methods to produce energy from alternate sources have become a great necessity,” said Congressman Gresham Barrett. “Research and development has found nuclear power is not only an economically competitive alternate power source but it’s a proven means to energy independence. The GNEP funding for these universities is a sound gain for South Carolina as it leads the charge in finding domestic energy alternatives.”

“South Carolina is a leader in nuclear power and alternative energy research,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham.  “I am proud of the important contributions our universities are making to further develop these technologies.  South Carolina is producing the next generation of leaders who will spearhead our nation’s efforts to be energy independent.”

“I’m proud that South Carolina continues to play an important role in the research and development of new resources to help make America energy independent. Clean fuels, such as hydrogen and nuclear energy, offer reliable energy resources for our nation. I applaud our state’s universities for understanding this need and creating exciting opportunities for our students to contribute to the future of our country,” said Senator Jim DeMint.

“I am extremely proud that the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and South Carolina State University will join a community of universities in furthering the development of safe nuclear energy,” said Congressman Joe Wilson.  “Our nation as well as our friends and allies throughout the world will benefit immensely from the research the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership is supporting with this grant program.  In a time of increased demand for energy resources, we must remain dedicated to investing in our nation’s brightest minds to help bridge the gap to 21st Century nuclear power.”

A total of $3.8 million will be awarded by the GNEP University Readiness program to universities throughout the United States.  Funding may be used upgrade laboratories, improve reactor facilities, purchase new state-of-the-art equipment, provide increased faculty support and graduate fellowships, further enhance nuclear-related curricula and foster international exchange.  DOE has distributed more than $15.2 million to universities in fiscal year 2007.

South Carolina is host to four nuclear sites with seven reactors generating more than half the state’s electricity and making it our nation’s third largest producer of nuclear power.  Additionally, cost-effective alternative energy sources are extensively researched in South Carolina through the state’s automotive industry, Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR), University of South Carolina’s use of hydrogen fuel cells and the hydrogen research laboratory in Aiken County at the Savannah River Site.

The R&D program implemented in universities will provide a new generation of engineers and scientists which are necessary for continuing research for nuclear power as a safe, reliable, affordable and emissions-free source of energy. 

For additional information on this announcement, GNEP and nuclear R&D programs, visit:



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