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US has just set aside $82 million funding for nuclear research

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced it is to invest over $82 million in advanced nuclear technology.

The investment consists of funding for 93 projects across 28 states, with the DOE saying that it will help to "push innovative nuclear technologies toward commercialization and into the market."

"Nuclear power is our nation's largest source of low-carbon electricity and is a vital component in our efforts to both provide affordable and reliable electricity and to combat climate change," energy secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement.

"These awards will help scientists and engineers as they continue to innovate with advanced nuclear technologies," Moniz added.

However, the issue of nuclear energy remains controversial, especially given the 2011 disaster at Fukushima in Japan. Nevertheless, the International Energy Agency states that nuclear power has become "a critical element" in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

The importance of nuclear energy is growing. The DOE says that nuclear energy supplies around 6 percent of the planet's energy, and between 13-14 percent of its electricity.