The SRE nuclear facility in 1958. (Photo: DOE)
In February 1957, construction was completed on the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE), a sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor with an output of 20 MWt. The design of theSRE had begun three years earlier in 1954, and construction started in April 1955. On April 25, 1957, the reactor reached criticality, and the SRE operated until February 1964.
TVA's Bull Run fossil plant. (Photo: TVA)
Type One Energy Group announced plans on February 21 to relocate its headquarters from Madison, Wis., to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Bull Run fossil plant in Clinton, Tenn., where it will build a stellarator fusion prototype machine. According to the company, the construction of the stellarator—called Infinity One—could begin in 2025, if necessary environmental reviews, partnership agreements, permits, and operating licenses are all in hand.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. (Photo: DOE)
Russian shelling is being blamed for damage to the single remaining power source to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located on the front lines of the ongoing military conflict.
“After another attack by the Russians, the line that provided the energy supply to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station was damaged,” Ukraine's power grid operator Ukrenergo said in a February 21 statement.
Concept art showing the proposed layout of the six-unit Jinqimen plant. (Image: CNNC)
Construction formally began this week on two new nuclear reactors in China.
The China National Nuclear Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction of the Jinqimen nuclear power plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
The Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant in Oswego, N.Y., site of a DOE hydrogen demonstration project. (Photo: DOE)
As hydrogen production increases worldwide, some see clean hydrogen as a game-changer when it comes to decarbonizing the steel industry.
Steel production is one of the “hard-to-abate” sectors of industry, which are responsible for about 30 percent of global carbon emissions. These industries are tough to decarbonize because the technologies either do not yet exist or are considered uneconomical.
Researchers have been working frantically to develop an array of materials and fibers to economically extract uranium from seawater—and they have succeeded. PNNL scientists exposed this special uranium-sorbing fiber developed at ORNL to Pseudomonas fluorescens and used the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to create a 3-D X-ray microtomograph to determine microstructure and the effects of interactions with organisms and seawater. (Image: PNNL)
America, Japan, and China are racing to be the first nation to make nuclear energy completely renewable. The hurdle is making it economical to extract uranium from seawater, because the amount of uranium in seawater is truly inexhaustible.
While America had been in the lead with technological breakthroughs from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, researchers at Northeast Normal University in China have sprung ahead. But these breakthroughs from both countries have brought the removal of uranium from seawater within economic reach. The only question is when will the source of uranium for our nuclear power plants change from mined ore to seawater extraction?
Aiken County Public School District students test out a mock glovebox during a tour of the Savannah River Site’s Waste Solidification Building. (Photo: SRNS)
Fifteen area high school students recently completed job shadow experiences with leaders, engineers, and education outreach personnel at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina, according to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS).
Clinton nuclear power plant, located near Clinton, Ill. (Photo: Constellation)
Constellation Energy is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an initial license renewal for its Clinton nuclear plant in Illinois, which would allow the facility to operate through 2047.
This move is not unexpected from Constellation, the largest producer of nuclear power in the United States. The vast majority of nuclear plants in the United States have already been approved for their first 20-year renewal term. Clinton, which came on line in 1987, is one of the nation’s “newer” plants.
Radioisotopes target cancer, improve imaging, and have myriad other medical uses
ORNL radioisotope manufacturing coordinator Jillene Sennon-Greene places a shipment vial of actinium-225 inside the dose calibrator to confirm its activity is within customer specifications. (Photo: Carlos Jones/ORNL, DOE)
On August 2, 1946, 1 millicurie of the isotope carbon-14 left Oak Ridge National Laboratory, bound for the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.
That tiny amount of the radioisotope was purchased by the hospital for use in cancer studies. And it heralded a new peacetime mission for ORNL, built just a few years earlier for the production of plutonium from uranium for the Manhattan Project.
The N.S. Savannah. (Photo: N.S. Savannah Association)
What will happen to the retired nuclear-powered merchant ship, the N.S. Savannah? The Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the Department of Transportation is investigating possibilities for the vessel’s future, whether it be in disposition, transportation, or preservation.
Assistant energy secretary for international affairs Andrew Light (seated, left) and Bulgarian energy minister Rumen Radev (seated, right) sign the new agreement in Bulgaria. (Photo: U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria)
Officials from the United States and Bulgaria inked a deal this week to cooperate as Bulgaria further develops its civil nuclear power program.
A working group will explore plans to design, construct, and commission two new units at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant. The two countries will also “explore collaboration on research and training programs and developing Bulgaria's nuclear supply chain resilience,” according to reports.