Pickering likely to operate to 2026—and maybe well beyond

October 6, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Pickering nuclear power plant. (Photo: OPG)

The government of Ontario has announced its support for extending the operation of Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering nuclear plant for a year past its scheduled 2025 closure date, adding that a much longer extension is also being mulled.

OPG, at the government’s request, has reviewed its operational plans and concluded that the facility can continue to safely produce electricity for an additional year, according to a recent news release.

The Hill article: The nuclear industry is stifled

October 6, 2022, 7:04AMANS Nuclear Cafe


In an opinion piece published by The Hill, Tim Cavanaugh blasts the federal government for “quick-fix” and “half-hearted” efforts to retain existing nuclear power plants.

Cavanaugh, senior editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, adds that the U.S. nuclear energy industry is stifled by outmoded policies and suggests a number of policy changes to allow it to flourish and to “end a regulatory model that has starved the nuclear industry nearly to extinction.”

Renewable failures: Cavanaugh’s first suggestion is to acknowledge the failure of renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which “produce too little energy and are too unreliable to make a dent in our heat and electricity needs, even though taxpayers have spent billions of dollars on green pork.”

Nuclear Science Week events to be held in October

October 5, 2022, 3:01PMANS News

Nuclear Science Week (NSW) is just around the corner, to be held October 17-21. First recognized in 2009, it has been celebrated during the third week of October every year since 2012. Organized by the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, NSW is an annual opportunity to celebrate nuclear science; recognize the professionals who apply it to solving the world’s most pressing problems; encourage nuclear professional development and networking; and share information with students, educators, and community members about the vital role of nuclear science in the lives of all people.

Air Force pilot program to enlist microreactor for 20-year Alaskan deployment

October 5, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News
Aircraft line the runway at Eielson AFB in December 2020. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Keith Holcomb)

The Department of the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency–Energy have released a request for proposals (RFP) for the construction and operation of a microreactor in central Alaska. The Department of Defense wants a 20-year supply of electricity and steam from a 1–5-MW microreactor, but the Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) Microreactor Pilot Program will go beyond a simple power purchase agreement and put the reactor through its paces with tests, at least annually, of the reactor’s walk-away safety and black-start capabilities. The final RFP is available at sam.gov.

Michigan EMERGE event to focus on diversity in engineering

October 5, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The 2022 Michigan Engineering Research and Graduate Education (EMERGE) event will be held from Sunday, October 30 to Tuesday, November 1, at the University of Michigan College of Engineering in Ann Arbor. The expenses-paid, three-day event is designed to introduce a diverse cohort of prospective students to Michigan engineering doctoral programs.

GOP lawmakers push to lower regulatory hurdles for small nuclear firms

October 5, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News


Rep. Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) has introduced legislation in the House to help U.S. small businesses engaged or seeking to engage in the research, development, and deployment of advanced nuclear reactors.

Dubbed the Nuclear Assistance for America’s Small Businesses Act, the bill debuted September 29 with 10 of Donalds’s fellow House Republicans as cosponsors: Arizona’s Andy Biggs, Florida’s Maria Elvira Salazar, Georgia’s Buddy Carter, North Carolina’s Dan Bishop and Ted Budd, Ohio’s Bob Latta, South Carolina’s Nancy Mace, Tennessee’s Chuck Fleischmann and John Rose, and Texas’s Chip Roy.

Bill basics: The measure would amend the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) to allow small businesses to delay 50 percent of their preapplication fees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as 35 percent of their postapplication fees over a period of 10 years.

New Finnish reactor at full power

October 4, 2022, 3:05PMNuclear News
Finland’s Olkiluoto-3. (Photo: TVO)

The Unit 3 EPR at Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant has reached its full capacity of approximately 1,600 MWe for the first time, plant owner and operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj has announced. Olkiluoto-3 is now the most powerful reactor in Europe and the third most powerful globally, according to TVO. (Currently, the world champions in that department are China’s 1,660-MWe Taishan-1 and -2, also EPRs.)

Preventative Maintenance for Improved Fuel Reliability & Performance

October 4, 2022, 12:02PMSponsored ContentDominion Engineering Inc.

The process of making fuel for our light-water nuclear plants is meticulously developed and executed. And as anyone who has gone through the receipt process once it arrives at the plant can attest, the initial quality examination is likewise a thorough and rigorous activity. We do a great job of making sure that high quality fuel is ready to go into the core.

New CNC draft guidance out as first-round decision nears

October 4, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy released draft guidance for the second award cycle of the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program on September 30, ahead of a decision on which reactors could receive four years of economic aid from the program’s first award cycle.

The DOE’s draft guidance for the second award cycle describes CNC program timelines and all supporting information required for owners or operators of nuclear power plants to apply for certification of eligibility and submit sealed bids. Feedback is requested by 5:00 p.m. EDT on November 4. While no date has been set for the second-round application process to open, the DOE plans to initiate the award cycle before the end of the year.

Vistra moves to extend operation at Comanche Peak

October 4, 2022, 9:34AMNuclear News
Luminant’s two-unit Comanche Peak plant in Glen Rose, Texas. (Photo: Vistra Corporation)

Vistra Corporation announced yesterday that it is seeking 20-year life extensions for its Comanche Peak reactors and has submitted an application for license renewals to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Operated by Vistra subsidiary Luminant and located in Glen Rose, Texas, Comanche Peak is home to two Westinghouse-supplied pressurized water reactors. The 1,218-MWe Unit 1 began commercial operation in August 1990, with the 1,207-MWe Unit 2 joining in August 1993. The original 40-year licenses for Units 1 and 2 expire in February 2030 and February 2033, respectively.

DOE extends Savannah River Site M&O contract

October 4, 2022, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions
The Savannah River Site (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy has extended Savannah River Nuclear Solutions’ (SRNS) management and operating contract at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina for up to an additional five years. The announcement was made recently 29 by engineering company Fluor, which leads the SRNS joint venture, along with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell.

Draft EIS for fluoride salt–cooled test reactor now out for public comment

October 3, 2022, 3:06PMNuclear News
An artist’s rendering of Hermes. (Image: Kairos Power)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) recently on Kairos Power’s application for a permit to construct Hermes, a 35-MW nonpower version of the company’s fluoride salt–cooled reactor design (KP-FHR), at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

GAO finds nuclear demo best practices could set new standard for clean energy projects

October 3, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s management of its commercial-scale reactor demonstration projects has “generally been consistent with requirements to address risk,” according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published recently. The GAO found that the DOE has met existing project management requirements, and that the two offices managing the awards—the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) and the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED)—plan to introduce additional project management tools, such as external independent reviews. The GAO recommended that the DOE adopt those plans as institutional best practices for other large energy projects, and the DOE concurred.

AECL seeks M&O contractor for CNL

October 3, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (Photo: AECL)

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has published a request for expressions of interest to manage and operate Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). The request is available on the MERX website.

According to AECL, the objective of the procurement and the resulting contract is to contain or reduce costs and risks for Canadian taxpayers while leveraging CNL’s capabilities and resources for Canadians.

Expressions of interest must be submitted via MERX on or before October 26, 2022.

Case Western receives NNSA grant for a new science center

October 3, 2022, 6:55AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced a $14 million grant to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, to be used to establish a new center on lifetime extension research and materials science. The funds will be allotted over a five-year period.

The DRUM program: Cataloging America’s abandoned uranium mines

September 30, 2022, 3:04PMRadwaste SolutionsGuest Contributor
DRUM team members at the Telluride 18 mine in the Yellow Cat area of southwest Colorado.

Based on a review of U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) records and available data from numerous agencies, there are an estimated 4,225 mines across the country that provided uranium ore to the U.S. government for defense-related purposes between 1947 and 1970. To aid in the cleanup of these legacy uranium mines and establish a record of their locations and current conditions, the Defense-Related Uranium Mines (DRUM) program was established within the Department of Energy’s Office of Legacy Management (LM).

Germany okays keeping two nuclear plants in reserve for winter

September 30, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News
Germany’s Isar nuclear plant, located in Essenbach, Bavaria. (Photo: Elmschrat/WikiCommons)

With a reluctant bow to the reality of the energy crisis gripping Europe, the German government this week took a slight step back from its antinuclear power stance, forging an agreement with the operators of the Isar and Neckarwestheim plants to keep those facilities in “operational reserve” this winter should they be needed to ensure the country’s energy security.

Company launched to develop NuScale SMRs in Romania

September 30, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
From left: Romanian energy minister Virgil Popescu; E-Infra CEO Teofil Mureșan; Nuclearelectrica board chairman Teodor Chirica; and U.S. undersecretary for economic development, energy, and environment Jose Fernandez. (Photo: Nuclearelectrica)

Energy firms Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas have launched a joint venture, RoPower Nuclear, for the development of small modular reactors in Romania, with SMR technology provided by NuScale Power, of Portland, Ore.

Largely state-owned, Nuclearelectrica operates Romania’s sole nuclear power facility, the two-unit Cernavoda plant, while Nova Power & Gas, a subsidiary of the privately held E-Infra Group, is a supplier and distributor of electricity and natural gas in Romania. The two firms own equal shares of RoPower.

Maintaining RIPB in commercial LWRs

September 29, 2022, 3:22PMNuclear NewsKent B. Welter

The new standard ANSI/ANS-30.3-2022, Light Water Reactor Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Design, has just been issued by the American Nuclear Society. Approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on July 21, 2022, the standard provides requirements for the incorporation of risk-informed, performance-based (RIPB) principles and methods into the nuclear safety design of commercial light water reactors. The process described in this standard establishes a minimum set of process requirements the designer must follow in order to meet the intent of this standard and appropriately combine deterministic, probabilistic, and performance-based methods during design development.