May 2, 2024

Purdue University chosen by Indiana Office of Energy Development for small modular nuclear reactor study

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University has been selected by the Indiana Office of Energy Development (IOED) to research small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) technology and analyze the potential impacts should the technology be deployed in Indiana. This partnership comes following Purdue’s selection as the successful respondent to IOED’s Request for Proposals for an Indiana-focused SMR study. 

“The energy transition is ongoing and will be for decades to come. In Indiana, we’ve added a lot of tools to our toolbox to help better manage the energy transition, but the conversations must continue,” said Ryan Hadley, executive director, Indiana Office of Energy Development. “This SMR study is reflective of a proactive spirit to learn more about Indiana’s possible energy future. We are eager to learn more from this opportunity.”

The SMR study aligns with the IOED’s mission to provide comprehensive energy planning and policy development for Indiana that is affordable, stable, reliable and inclusive of a diverse and balanced generation mix. 

 “As a state and national leader in nuclear engineering education and research, along with our proven track record in innovation and energy generation, we are uniquely positioned to work with the Office of Energy Development on this exciting endeavor,” said Dr. Seungjin Kim, the Capt. James F. McCarthy, Jr. and Cheryl E. McCarthy Head of the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University, who is leading the study as the principal investigator (PI). “We carefully assembled a project team that consists of experts from Purdue University as well as Argonne National Laboratory, Energy Systems Network and Ivy Tech Community College.”

The assembled team, in coordination with the IOED, will perform an extensive study on topics related to SMR technology:

  • Current status of SMR technology
  • State and local economic impact
  • Workforce development and employment
  • Safety, environmental impact and nuclear waste, siting considerations
  • Community engagement needs and best practices

Interest in SMR technology in Indiana has grown in recent years. The Indiana General Assembly has passed legislation related to SMR technology development (IC 8-1-8.5-12.1), and Purdue and Duke Energy published an interim report related to their ongoing study investigating the feasibility of using advanced nuclear energy to meet the West Lafayette campus community’s long-term energy needs. Through collaboration with some of the leading experts in advanced nuclear technology in both the public and private sector, Purdue and Duke Energy identified a number of findings and recommended next steps in the interim report, which are succinctly summarized in a two-page fact sheet.

“Purdue began seriously researching the practical application of small modular nuclear technology with Duke Energy in 2022 when we kicked off our joint feasibility study,” said Ryan Gallagher, associate vice president of Purdue Facilities Operations and Environmental Health and Safety and a co-PI for the project. “Since then, we have continued to expand our knowledge on topics including technology development, approval and implementation timelines, siting considerations and other factors that position us well to help the state evaluate the potential benefits SMRs could bring to Indiana.”

Work on the SMR study began earlier this year and will be completed by Oct. 31, 2024.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes — at

Media Contact: Tim Doty,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-24 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at