North Carolina State University is using funds from the Department of Energy to continue work on the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, a program aimed at using computer simulations to test the effect of new fuels on reactors. Current methods take about 15 years to develop a new nuclear fuel, but computer modeling can speed up this process without compromising safety, said Paul Turinsky, the project's chief scientist. Computer modeling could also double a facility's life span and make it produce up to 15% more energy, Turinsky added.

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