Converting UNF Radioisotopes into Energy (CURIE).

The summary for the Converting UNF Radioisotopes into Energy (CURIE). grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
Converting UNF Radioisotopes into Energy (CURIE).: FOA Number: DE-FOA-0002961 Converting UNF Radioisotopes into Energy (CURIE) To obtain a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) please go to the ARPA-E website at To apply to this FOA, Applicants must register with and submit application materials through ARPA-E eXCHANGE ( For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the ARPA-E eXCHANGE User Guide ( ARPA-E will not review or consider concept papers submitted through other means. For problems with ARPA-E eXCHANGE, email [email protected] (with FOA name and number in the subject line). Questions about this FOA? Check the Frequently Asked Questions available at For questions that have not already been answered, email [email protected]. Agency Overview: The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69), as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358), as further amended by the Energy Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-260) to: “(A) to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that— (i) reduce imports of energy from foreign sources; (ii) reduce energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; (iii) improve the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; (iv) provide transformative solutions to improve the management, clean-up, and disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel; and (v) improve the resilience, reliability, and security of infrastructure to produce, deliver, and store energy; and (B) to ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.” ARPA-E issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under its authorizing statute codified at 42 U.S.C. § 16538. The FOA and any awards made under this FOA are subject to 2 C.F.R. Part 200 as supplemented by 2 C.F.R. Part 910. ARPA-E funds research on and the development of transformative science and technology solutions to address the energy and environmental missions of the Department. The agency focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early-stage technology. For the latest news and information about ARPA-E, its programs and the research projects currently supported, see: ARPA-E funds transformational research. Existing energy technologies generally progress on established “learning curves” where refinements to a technology and the economies of scale that accrue as manufacturing and distribution develop drive down the cost/performance metric in a gradual fashion. This continual improvement of a technology is important to its increased commercial deployment and is appropriately the focus of the private sector or the applied technology offices within DOE. By contrast, ARPA-E supports transformative research that has the potential to create fundamentally new learning curves. ARPA-E technology projects typically start with cost/performance estimates well above the level of an incumbent technology. Given the high risk inherent in these projects, many will fail to progress, but some may succeed in generating a new learning curve with a projected cost/performance metric that is significantly lower than that of the incumbent technology. ARPA-E funds technology with the potential to be disruptive in the marketplace. The mere creation of a new learning curve does not ensure market penetration. Rather, the ultimate value of a technology is determined by the marketplace, and impactful technologies ultimately become disruptive – that is, they are widely adopted and displace existing technologies from the marketplace or create entirely new markets. ARPA-E understands that definitive proof of market disruption takes time, particularly for energy technologies. Therefore, ARPA-E funds the development of technologies that, if technically successful, have clear disruptive potential, e.g., by demonstrating capability for manufacturing at competitive cost and deployment at scale. ARPA-E funds applied research and development. The Office of Management and Budget defines “applied research” as an “original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge…directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective” and defines “experimental development” as “creative and systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience, which is directed at producing new products or processes or improving existing products or processes.” Applicants interested in receiving financial assistance for basic research (defined by the Office of Management and Budget as “experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts”) should contact the DOE's Office of Science ( Office of Science national scientific user facilities ( are open to all researchers, including ARPA-E Applicants and awardees. These facilities provide advanced tools of modern science including accelerators, colliders, supercomputers, light sources and neutron sources, as well as facilities for studying the nanoworld, the environment, and the atmosphere. Projects focused on early-stage R&D for the improvement of technology along defined roadmaps may be more appropriate for support through the DOE applied energy offices including: the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (, the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (, the Office of Nuclear Energy (, and the Office of Electricity ( The program goal of CURIE is to enable commercially viable reprocessing of used nuclear fuel (UNF) from the current light water reactor (LWR) fleet by resolving key gaps/barriers in reprocessing technologies, process monitoring, and facility design. The actinides in LWR UNF would ideally be reprocessed into feedstock that would be used to fuel advanced nuclear reactors (ARs), while other commercially valuable materials would be harvested for industrial and medical uses. Projects funded under CURIE will develop innovative separations technologies, process monitoring techniques for special nuclear material (SNM ), and/or equipment designs that will significantly improve the economics and process monitoring of reprocessing technologies while dramatically reducing the volume of high-level waste (HLW) from LWR UNF requiring disposal (see Section I.C, “Program Objectives”). Specifically, CURIE is interested in separations technologies, process monitoring to enable predictive material accountancy, innovative equipment designs, and systems analyses that satisfy one or more of the global program metrics without negatively impacting other program metrics: (1) significantly (i.e., at least an order of magnitude) reduce the volume of LWR HLW requiring permanent disposal, (2) maintain disposal costs in the range of 0.1¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh) , (3) provide a 1¢/kWh fuel cost for a 200 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM)/yr nth-of-a-kind (NOAK) facility, (4) enable in situ SNM process monitoring approaches that predict, within 1% uncertainty and under representative conditions, the post-process material accountancy, and (5) enable UNF separations that do not produce pure plutonium streams. In aggregate, these metrics are envisioned to support a commercially viable reprocessing technology that would provide valuable AR fuel feedstock and the ability to recover fission products of interest (e.g., precious metals and medical radioisotopes) while minimizing the Nation's HLW waste impact. CURIE is part of a comprehensive, nearly $90 million ARPA-E strategy to manage and reduce the Nation's HLW waste inventory and is designed to complement the ARPA-E ONWARDS program. While both the ONWARDS and CURIE programs seek to enable innovations that will minimize HLW quantities, CURIE focuses on the development of technologies that will enable UNF from the current LWR fleet to be utilized as feedstock for future nuclear fuel. To view the FOA in its entirety, please visit
Federal Grant Title: Converting UNF Radioisotopes into Energy (CURIE).
Federal Agency Name: Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (DOE-ARPAE)
Grant Categories: Opportunity Zone Benefits Science and Technology
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: DE-FOA-0002691
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 81.135
CFDA Descriptions: Information not provided
Current Application Deadline: July 21st, 2022
Original Application Deadline: July 21st, 2022
Posted Date: March 15th, 2022
Creation Date: March 15th, 2022
Archive Date: October 15th, 2022
Total Program Funding: $48,000,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $10,000,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $250,000
Expected Number of Awards: 12
Cost Sharing or Matching: Yes
Last Updated: June 7th, 2022
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity below), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
Additional Information on Eligibility
See Section III.A. of the FOA.
Link to Full Grant Announcement
Grant Announcement Contact
[email protected]
Click to email contact
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