Notre Dame to Lead Center Focused on Nuclear Research

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Notre Dame Professor Peter Burns will lead the center. (photo courtesy University of Notre Dame) Notre Dame Professor Peter Burns will lead the center. (photo courtesy University of Notre Dame)

The University of Notre Dame has been tapped to lead a National Nuclear Security Administration Actinide Center of Excellence. The university says the center will prioritize research related to making sure the country's nuclear arsenal is secure and operational.

The NNSA's Stewardship Sciences Academic Alliance program is contributing $12.5 million for the center, which will be led by Peter Burns, director of Notre Dame's Center for Sustainable Energy. The center will also include researchers from Northwestern University, Oregon State University, the University of Minnesota and Washington State University.

The center will be funded for five years and will support 16 doctoral students and eight postdoctoral researchers from all of the universities involved in the research. Notre Dame says one of the center's main goals is to support workforce development related to stockpile stewardship, training students to plan, set up, and conduct experiments with radioactive materials safely and efficiently.

"In 1992, the United States signed an international agreement to not test nuclear weapons, which makes assessing them increasingly difficult, especially as they age,” said Burns. "Therefore, an essential part of the ACE program is designed to give students training and exposure in conducting research on nuclear materials. This will help the nation maintain its leadership position in this field by creating opportunities for students to develop into highly trained, experienced and driven employees for organizations such as NNSA."

You can learn more about the center by clicking here.

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