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The University of Illinois is getting a $538,000 research grant to find ways to make nuclear power plants safer and more efficient.

The Energy Department grant focuses on developing new technology and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry.

James Stubbins is head of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering at the university, and he says researchers will study materials that can withstand extraordinarily high temperatures and resist corrosion.

Stubbins says that would make nuclear energy more efficient and make plant equipment less likely to leak.

The university's research project could start by Oct. 1.

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