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.

Main Content

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.

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

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