NEXT Lab

Next-Level Research. Advancing the Future.

Imagine a world with cleaner and safer energy, with pure and abundant water, and a world where new treatments for cancer mean more lives are saved. By advancing the technology of molten salt reactors, researchers at ACU’s NEXT Lab are creating innovative solutions to some of the world’s most critical problems.

Imagine a world with cleaner and safer energy, with pure and abundant water, and a world where new treatments for cancer mean more lives are saved. By advancing the technology of molten salt reactors, researchers at ACU’s NEXT Lab are creating innovative solutions to some of the world’s most critical problems.

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What’s NEXT?

NEXT, which stands for Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Laboratory, is experimenting with using molten salts, rather than water, as a coolant for nuclear reactors with the goal of designing and building the first university-based molten salt research reactor.

As students and faculty work together seeking creative solutions to complex problems, the next generation of leaders in nuclear science and engineering are gaining real-world experience. In the process, they are seeing firsthand how their innovation and collaboration can impact the world.

NEXTRA: Working Together for Progress

ACU is leading NEXTRA – the NEXT Research Alliance – among four universities with extensive experience in physics, chemistry and engineering. Launched in Spring 2019, the consortium’s goal is to design, license and commission the first university-based molten salt research reactor, which ACU will host and own. Other members of the consortium are Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Sponsored by Natura

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News & Highlights

NEXT Lab to lead $30.5 million research collaboration

Abilene Christian University and Abilene-based Natura Resources LLC are partnering in a $30.5 million effort to design and license a research reactor in collaboration with three other major universities. Natura will provide $21.5 million to ACU over the next three years, the largest sponsored research agreement in the university’s history. ACU’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing … Continued

Development Corporation of Abilene commits $2.9 million to ACU’s NEXT Lab facility expansion

At its July meeting, the Abilene City Council approved a $2.93 million incentive package that enables the Development Corporation of Abilene to enter into an agreement with Abilene Christian University’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Lab to expand its research and development facility at the former Taylor Elementary School site. “This project is an incredible opportunity … Continued

ACU engineering and physics students awarded prestigious scholarships from U.S. Department of Energy

Two ACU undergraduate students – Keaton Brewster from Malibu, California, and Reuben Howe from Dale, Texas – have been awarded prestigious scholarships by the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE annually presents more than $5 million in awards through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s Integrated University Program to students pursuing nuclear engineering degrees or other … Continued

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ACU Box 28208
Abilene, TX 79699
Email: next@acu.edu