The department, through its Nuclear Energy University Program, said the investment would support research and development into the domestic nuclear energy industry.
The three-year projects, the department explained, could lead to increased performance for light-water reactors through research into new fuel forms and other developmental concepts.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the aim of the university research is to ensure the United States remains competitive globally in nuclear energy development.
"As part of our commitment to restarting America's nuclear industry and making sure that America stays competitive in the 21st century, we must invest in the next generation of American scientists and engineers," he said in a statement.
The Energy Department stated that it's invested more than $230 million during the past four years in university-level research and development projects related to nuclear energy.