U.S. to provide $14 million for Romanian SMR study

July 5, 2022, 12:09PMNuclear News

At the recent G7 summit in Germany, President Biden and other world leaders launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment—described by the State Department as an effort “to narrow infrastructure gaps around the world, strengthen the global economy and supply chains, and advance international security through strategic investments.”

A new “cooperative framework” to commercialize advanced nuclear technologies

July 5, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Mazzucchi

Another call on the Western world to use nuclear power as a way to achieve energy independence from Russia has been sounded, this time by Nicolas Mazzucchi, a research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

As readers of Nuclear Newswire know, several such arguments have been made since the Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted tough sanctions against Russia by Western governments, including restrictions on imports of Russian oil and natural gas. Although designed to harm the Russian economy, these sanctions have also contributed to high energy prices and other economic problems in Western Europe and the United States.

In a recent issue of Nature, Mazzucchi builds on the point that more nuclear power—especially from advanced technologies—offers a way to “avoid another situation like that in Ukraine.” However, he also argues that increased international cooperation is needed to commercialize these technologies.

Zap Energy strives for magnetic confinement fusion power—with no magnets

July 5, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
The first plasmas created in FuZE-Q, shown here during assembly, represent a key step towards fusion experiments with net energy output. (Photo: Zap Energy)

Zap Energy has created the first plasmas in its FuZE-Q machine—the company’s fourth prototype machine and the one it hopes will demonstrate a net energy gain from a Z-pinch fusion plasma just one millimeter in diameter and half a meter long. Zap Energy announced that engineering achievement and the close of $160 million in Series C funding in late June.

President's Profile Steven Arndt: Prioritizing participation and advocacy

July 1, 2022, 3:03PMNuclear News

Steven Arndt began his one-year term last month as president of the American Nuclear Society, bringing the same high level of energy, investment, and action he has exhibited throughout his career. Reflecting on a life spent improving nuclear safety and technology, he notes that it’s not just the work; it’s also about the people and building connections and relationships. Arndt fondly recalls Peter Lyons, former NRC commissioner, assistant secretary of energy for nuclear energy, and ANS board member who passed away in April 2021. “I have been incredibly lucky to know and work with some great people in our field, and almost to a person they have been like Pete Lyons,” Arndt said. “They have been gregarious, outgoing, and supportive.”

DOE revises nuclear credit program guidance, extends application deadline

July 1, 2022, 12:09PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy yesterday announced that it has amended its Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program guidance for the currently open award cycle and extended the deadline for credit applications from July 5 to September 6. The DOE was instructed to establish the $6 billion program by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Biden last November.

Jacobs/Multiconsult JV to plan Norwegian decommissioning program

July 1, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Jeep-II facility at Kjeller. (Photo: Institute for Energy Technology)

A joint venture of Jacobs and Oslo-based engineering company Multiconsult Norge have been selected by Norsk Nukleær Dekommisjonering (NDD) to plan the decommissioning of Norway’s nuclear facilities. NDD is the state-run enterprise responsible for the decommissioning of Norway’s nuclear facilities and radioactive waste management.

IEA calls for major role for nuclear power in clean energy systems

July 1, 2022, 7:06AMNuclear News

Nuclear power can play a significant role in helping countries solve the twin crises of energy and climate and securely transition to future energy systems dominated by renewables, according to a new report, Nuclear Power and Secure Energy Transitions: From Today’s Challenges to Tomorrow’s Clean Energy Systems, released June 30 by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The message is clear: Nuclear power can reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels, cut carbon dioxide emissions, and stabilize electricity systems; and building sustainable and clean energy systems will be harder, riskier, and more expensive without nuclear.

Entergy settles with state PSC for $300M over Grand Gulf rate issues

June 30, 2022, 3:04PMNuclear News
The Grand Gulf nuclear power plant in Port Gibson, Miss. (Photo: Entergy)

The Mississippi Public Services Commission has announced a $300 million settlement with Entergy Mississippi—the largest settlement in the MPSC’s history—ending the state’s part in multistate Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings involving Grand Gulf plant customer rate impacts.

Nuclear development in the West needs new, better financing models

June 30, 2022, 12:03PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The prospects for new nuclear energy construction in the Western world is the subject of a recent The Economist article, “Energy security gives climate-friendly nuclear-power plants a new appeal.” The article also explores the difficulties that EDF Energy has been experiencing in constructing its EPRs in Europe.

Energy bill moves to House floor with amendment on Diablo Canyon, HALEU

June 30, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

The House Appropriations Committee has delivered to the full House the fiscal year 2023 Energy and Water Development bill in a 32–24 vote, along with a notable amendment concerning, among other things, Diablo Canyon, high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), and thorium molten salt reactors. The amendment received a thumbs-up at the committee’s June 28 markup session via voice vote.

Today! National Atomic Testing Museum hosts panel on women in science

June 30, 2022, 7:02AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The National Atomic Testing Museum is hosting the “Women in Science Panel Discussion” today, June 30, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (PST). This free event can be attended in person at the museum in Las Vegas, Nev., or online via Zoom. Advance registration is required.

Holtec completes acquisition of Michigan’s Palisades and Big Rock Point

June 29, 2022, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Holtec International)

Holtec International announced on June 28 that it has completed the acquisition of the Palisades nuclear power plant and the Big Rock Point site from Entergy Corporation. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the license transfer for the two sites, both located in Michigan, in December 2021.

Purdue–Duke Energy launch lecture series on advanced nuclear technology

June 29, 2022, 12:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe

A new lecture series launched by Purdue University and Duke Energy is designed to educate the public about small modular reactors and other advances in nuclear energy. The series stems from an ongoing comprehensive joint study by Purdue and Duke, announced in April, which is investigating the feasibility of using SMRs to meet the campus’s energy needs.

Saskatchewan picks BWRX-300 for potential deployment

June 29, 2022, 9:28AMNuclear News
A cutaway image of the BWRX-300. (Image: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy)

Following an assessment of several small modular reactor technologies, SaskPower has chosen GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH’s) BWRX-300 SMR for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s, the Canadian utility announced earlier this week.

Cocooning of Hanford’s K East Reactor begins

June 29, 2022, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
The first steel columns, each weighing up to 28 tons, were placed for a cocoon over the former K East Reactor building at the Hanford Site. (Photo: DOE-EM)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) said that construction is well underway on a protective enclosure, or cocoon, for the K East Reactor building at the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash.

EM reports that is has achieved one of its key construction priorities for 2022 by beginning construction of the enclosure, which is designed to protect the reactor building while the radioactivity in the deactivated reactor core decays over the next several decades, making it safer and easier to decommission.

A time-lapse video showing the construction of the cocoon’s massive 120-foot steel frame can be seen here.

EDF makes latest move to build EPRs in Poland

June 28, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

Électricité de France has signed cooperation agreements with five Polish companies as it continues its efforts to be named the large-reactor supplier for Poland’s incipient nuclear power program.

Polish firms Polimex Mostostal, Sefako, Tele-Fonika Kable, Uniserv, and ZRE Katowice inked the pacts at the fifth Polish-French Nuclear Industry Day in Ołtarzew, Poland. According to EDF, the event was held to foster collaboration between Polish and French companies in support of the utility giant’s offer to deliver four to six EPRs for the Polish program.

New IAEA database to collect data on NORM exposure for industrial workers

June 28, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
A shot from a coal mine in Poland. (Photo: IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency has launched a new database of the Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry, and Research (ISEMIR) for workers in industrial processes involving naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). The new database, ISEMIR-N, joins two existing databases in the ISEMIR system: ISEMIR-IC, for workers in interventional cardiology, and ISEMIR-IR, for workers in industrial radiography.

CNSC renews Point Lepreau license for 10 years

June 28, 2022, 7:07AMNuclear News
Point Lepreau nuclear power plant. (Photo: Andre Bussiere)

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has renewed the operating license of the reactor at the Point Lepreau nuclear plant for a period of 10 years. As a result, the facility’s 660-MWe CANDU-6 unit, the five-year license for which was set to expire on June 30, is now permitted to operate until the end of June 2032. License holder NB Power had requested an unprecedented 25-year extension.

How is EPRI supporting plant life extensions?

June 27, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

Many nuclear plants have operating licenses that extend beyond their original term of 40 years to 60 years, and many are expected to operate to 80 years or even beyond. The Electric Power Research Institute helped formulate the technical basis for up to 80 years of nuclear power plant operation. Based on this experience, EPRI has developed a systematic approach to maintaining the technical basis for long-term operation.

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