ACEP a Recipient of Nuclear Energy R&D Award

ACEP a Recipient of Nuclear Energy R&D Award

The Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been awarded $800,000 under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program. NUEP is awarding more than $24.3 million to support 38 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in 21 states. 

ACEP’s Environmental Justice and Equity Framework for Siting Nuclear Energy in America’s Arctic project, led by Gwen Holdmann, aims to create an environmental justice framework for future nuclear energy deployment by (1) establishing new community engagement strategies through addressing historical contamination and concerns related to nuclear technologies, (2) building community-led environmental monitoring and data analytics capabilities for empowering citizens, and (3) developing innovative nuclear microreactor applications specific to rural Alaska’s communities and their needs.

This project is especially relevant in Alaska, given the 1958 Atomic Energy Commission Plowshare Program proposal known as Project Chariot. The commission proposed to use nuclear explosions to excavate a harbor in northwestern Alaska. Though never implemented and largely forgotten at the national level, the project sowed significant generational distrust in nuclear technologies and the motives of the federal government in Alaska. 

Strengthening ACEP’s research partnerships with Northwest Arctic Borough and Kotzebue, this project leverages and enhances existing local expertise through the development of a community-centric innovation hub. Additional partners include the T3 Alliance program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California Berkeley and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

NEUP seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering faculty and their students with opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities. 

For more information on this project, please contact Gwen Holdmann at