The legacy of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station

May 26, 2023, 2:59PMNuclear NewsJeremy Hampshire
The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Shippingport, Pa., the first full-scale nuclear power generating station in the United States, began operating in 1957.

Serving as the world’s first scalable nuclear power plant, Shippingport Atomic Power Station led the way for today’s nuclear generation fleet. Shippingport was centrally located roughly 25 miles from Pittsburgh, Pa., to provide electrical generation for many end-users. Shippingport also served as an experimental reactor that allowed engineers and designers the ability to test different core designs, and as such, the site housed additional testing equipment otherwise not commonly seen. The primary goal of Shippingport was always to generate electricity; however, its ability to function as an experimental reactor served utilities in further development of scalable nuclear generation.

Researchers at CERN trap thorium isomers in quest for a nuclear clock

May 26, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The ISOLDE facility. (Photo: CERN)

Today’s atomic clocks are exceptional timepieces that won’t lose or gain a second in 30 billion years. But if you’re looking for even more precision, you’ll be glad to learn that physicists at CERN’s ISOLDE nuclear physics facility have observed the decay of thorium-229 nuclei trapped in a crystalline structure and confirmed the potential for a nuclear clock. CERN announced the news on May 24.

Jacobs, University of Manchester launch robotics research center

May 26, 2023, 9:58AMNuclear News

The Texas-based engineering company Jacobs and the University of Manchester in England are forming a new international research center designed to create robotics and autonomous systems that the organizations say will play a key role in the response to climate change.

NEI defends eligibility of existing nuclear for clean hydrogen tax credits

May 26, 2023, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Energy Institute—along with Constellation, Energy Harbor, PSEG, and Vistra—submitted a 19-page letter on May 24 to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, taking issue with April 10 comments to those agencies from the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) concerning the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean hydrogen production tax credit (Internal Revenue Code sec. 45V). (The Treasury and the IRS released a notice last November requesting public input on the credit’s implementation.)

Utility Working Conference seeks knowledge managers for Florida meeting

May 25, 2023, 3:00PMANS News
Students attending a past Utility Working Conference in Florida.

The American Nuclear Society's 2023 Utility Working Conference and Vendor Technology Expo is accepting applications for knowledge managers to work during the meeting. The UWC, which will have a theme of “Building Resiliency in a Rapidly Changing World,” will be held at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort on Marco Island, Fla., on August 6–9, 2023.

The ANS Operations and Power Division will pay the conference registration fee for up to six knowledge managers, who also will receive three complimentary nights of housing at the Marriott resort.

Further details on the conference are available online.

Idaho’s IWTU reaches 100 percent radiological operations

May 25, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
DOE-EM’s Greg Sosson (standing) views Integrated Waste Treatment activity during the facility’s first day of radiological operations. (Photo: DOE)

After initial runs using a mix of radiological waste and nonradioactive simulant, the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) at the Idaho National Laboratory site has progressed to treating sodium-bearing waste entirely, the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) announced on May 22.

NuScale becomes latest member of Romanian nuclear group

May 25, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

NuScale Power announced yesterday that it has joined the Romanian Atomic Forum, aka Romatom, as a supporting member “to champion the association’s nuclear energy goals and further the next generation of advanced nuclear technology experts, technologists, and operators in Romania.” The move further deepens the American small modular reactor company’s commitment to the deployment of a VOYGR SMR plant in the Central European state.

DOE report: Nuclear a necessary part of Biden’s clean electricity plan

May 25, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News

Both current and advanced nuclear are among the clean energy sources that will be required to reach the Biden administration’s declared goal of a zero-carbon U.S. electricity sector by 2035, concludes a new report from the Department of Energy.

On the Path to 100% Clean Electricity, released last week, features a list of 10 actions the authors consider necessary for meeting that climate commitment. The full report can be accessed here.

The indispensable value of a P.E. license for entrepreneurs

May 24, 2023, 3:00PMANS NewsArielle Miller

Arielle Miller

In the world of engineering, obtaining a Professional Engineering (P.E.) license is often seen as a significant milestone. The journey toward earning this esteemed credential can be arduous and time-consuming, involving rigorous exams, licensing applications, and recommendations from licensed professionals. However, many young engineers question the practicality of obtaining a P.E. license, especially when starting their own business. This article explores the importance of having a P.E. license when venturing into entrepreneurship and how it can benefit engineers in their professional journey.

For aspiring entrepreneurs in engineering, acquiring a P.E. license early in their careers can be a strategic move. Working for an established company allows young engineers to take advantage of opportunities like employer-funded preparation courses and financial assistance for licensing and exam fees. By investing time and effort into obtaining a P.E. license during the early-career stage, engineers position themselves for future success in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Pronuclear golf outing a success

May 24, 2023, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Southern Nuclear Plant Vogtle team members showed off their first-prize winnings of golf balls and beer mugs at the banquet held after the CNTA Charity Golf Tournament. (Photo: CNTA)

Thirty teams of players participated in the 21st annual Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) Charity Golf Tournament at the Houndslake Country Club in Aiken, S.C. The tournament, held on on May 12, raised net proceeds of about $23,000, which the nonprofit organization will use to educate the public about issues related to nuclear energy. In addition, more than $700 in donations were raised for the group’s community gift card program.

$275 Million for NuScale VOYGR deployment in Romania announced

May 24, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
President Biden met with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom at the G7 Summit, held May 19–21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Also pictured are representatives of the European Commission and European Council.)

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, over the weekend, the Biden administration and partners Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates announced a public-private commitment of up to $275 million to support the advancement of NuScale Power’s small modular reactor project in Romania.

MARVEL’s nonnuclear twin—PCAT—readied for testing this summer

May 24, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
INL prepares to ship PCAT by truck to Pennsylvania for testing. (Photo: INL)

An electric-powered prototype of MARVEL, the tiny microreactor designed and planned for operation inside the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility at Idaho National Laboratory, has successfully been installed at a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania ahead of a testing program that could begin as early as July, the Department of Energy announced on May 22.

Nuclear Alliance calls for 50 percent increase in EU nuclear capacity by 2050

May 23, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Nuclear energy could provide the European Union with “up to 150 GW of electricity capacity by 2050” through the safe operation of existing nuclear facilities, the deployment of 30 to 45 new large reactors, and the development of small modular reactors, according to a statement issued last week by Europe’s Nuclear Alliance, following a meeting in Paris with European commissioner for energy Kadri Simson. Currently, nuclear energy provides the EU with about 100 GW of installed capacity.

ANS members encouraged to apply for the 2024 Congressional Fellowship

April 5, 2023, 9:32AMUpdated May 23, 2023, 12:04PMANS News

The deadline to apply for the Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship has been extended to June 5. The American Nuclear Society invites its members to apply for the fellowship to help the Society fulfill its strategic goal of enhancing nuclear public policy. Applications and all required materials are now due to ANS no later than June 5 by 11:59 p.m. EDT. Don't pass up this important opportunity to work on energy legislation in Congress as a representative of ANS.

Illinois lawmakers approve lifting ban on nuclear plant construction

May 23, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Illinois General Assembly has given the nod to S.B. 0076, a bill that would repeal the state’s decades-old moratorium on new nuclear power plant construction.

After passing the Senate in a 39–13 vote on March 30, the legislation proceeded to the House, where it was amended and approved 84–22 on May 18, then sent back to the Senate for concurrence. Late on May 19, the Senate agreed, 36–14 (with 3 voting “present”), to the proposed amendment. The bill now moves to Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s desk for consideration.

Zeno Power wins contract to build a radioisotope-powered satellite for the USAF

May 23, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News
Rendering of a radioisotope-powered satellite. (Image: Zeno Power Systems)

Zeno Power Systems was awarded a $30 million contract to build a radioisotope-powered satellite for the U.S. Air Force by 2025. According to a SpaceNews article announcing the development and quoting company cofounder and chief executive officer Tyler Bernstein, the four-year contract is a “strategic funding increase” (STRATFI) agreement that provides $15 million in government funds, matched by $15 million from private investors.

DOE-EM outlines its cleanup goals for the coming decade

May 22, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has released its Strategic Vision 2023–2033, a blueprint of the office’s anticipated cleanup achievements over the next decade. DOE-EM said the strategic vision is focused on the priorities of addressing radioactive liquid tank waste, demolishing contaminated buildings, remediating contaminated soil and groundwater, and safely managing and disposing of waste.

“The Strategic Vision 2023–2033 is intended to help us gaze further out to a place we want to be in the future,” DOE-EM senior advisor William “Ike” White said. “It sets EM on a course that will span a decade and inspire us all to achieve EM’s vital nuclear cleanup mission.”

NuScale, Nucor mull pairing SMR plants with steel mills

May 22, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News
A Nucor electric arc furnace. (Photo: Nucor)

NuScale Power and steel manufacturer Nucor have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants at Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills, the Portland, Ore.–based SMR developer announced Tuesday.

Granholm talks nuclear and other energy issues with WSJ

May 22, 2023, 9:31AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm recently discussed the future of clean energy with Christopher M. Matthews, the U.S. energy editor for the Wall Street Journal. The May 15 live Q&A focused on Granholm’s perspective on the Biden administration’s policies for decarbonization and energy security. Granholm, who mentioned nuclear briefly at beginning of her remarks, returned to the issue at the end of the half-hour interview. In her answer to Matthews’s question, she addressed nuclear industry incentives, safety and waste concerns, next-generation technologies, and fusion.

Fossil fuels? Matthews opened the discussion by noting President Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, allocating “billions of dollars in tax credits and federal loans to boost green energy, including electric vehicles, hydrogen production, and more.” He added, “At the same time, the administration has called on oil and gas producers to increase drilling to slow inflation and to tamp down energy prices.”

Nuclear Energy 101 is back on Capitol Hill to educate staffers

May 22, 2023, 7:22AMANS News
ANS Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy introduces presenter Candace Davison at the first Nuclear Energy 101 talk of 2023.

Nuclear Energy 101, a course for congressional staffers in D.C., is back. After a hiatus of a few years, the American Nuclear Society hosted the first session of the five-part course on March 1 in the Rayburn House Office Building. This educational series has always been a great—and popular—tool for ANS to network with congressional staff and explain the basics of nuclear science and technology. Now that the country has returned (in many ways) to pre-pandemic ways, ANS thought it was the perfect time to relaunch the Nuclear Energy 101 program.