The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Missouri S&T a $2 million grant to help find temporary storage sites for the U.S.’s nuclear fuel that has been used.

The Department wants to work with consenting communities, like St. Louis, to store the materials on an interim basis until a more permanent location can be found and developed. Coldwater Creek in the St. Louis region is known to be contaminated with waste from spent nuclear fuel.

The team, led by Shoaib Usman, a nuclear engineering professor, will gage concerns of residents in St. Louis.

“This project is to understand the concerns of those communities who were exposed to nuclear waste from the legacy waste in St. Louis and other areas,” he said.

Usman makes clear that he’s not trying to change the minds of residents, but to learn about their perceptions and concerns related to the storage of the waste.

“We cannot change the past, but we can learn from the past to build a better future,” said Usman.

During World War II, St. Louis played a pivotal part in the Manhattan Project, the development of the atomic bomb.

Missouri S&T’s partners for the project include Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and other experts.

Click here for more information.