Cattle industry poised to lead the way to a cooler Earth

April 16, 2024, 3:04PMNuclear NewsJames Conca
Methane emissions from cows are surprisingly important as a greenhouse gas. (Photo: Martin Abegglen)

In discussing how to counter global warming, it’s pretty easy to argue that nuclear should be the major electricity source and heat producer to replace fossil fuels. At 6 grams per kilowatt-hour, it has the lowest carbon emissions of any energy source, according to the United Nations, and is objectively the safest form of energy for humans and the environment alike, again from a recent UN report.

The 2024 ANS election results are in!

April 16, 2024, 12:00PMANS News

Spring marks the passing of the torch for American Nuclear Society leadership. During this election cycle, ANS members voted for the newest vice president/president-elect, four members-at-large for the Board of Directors, and one Young Member director for the Board. New professional division leadership was also decided on in the election, which opened on February 20 and closed on April 9. About 22 percent of eligible members voted—a similar turnout to last year.

NRC to discuss decommissioning of historic NS Savannah

April 16, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The NS Savannah. (Photo: NS Savannah Association)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting on May 8 to discuss the license termination process for the retired nuclear-powered merchant ship, the NS Savannah. During the meeting, NRC staff will discuss the license termination process and receive public comments on the remaining cleanup activities described in the license termination plan for the historic ship, which may see a second life as a floating museum.

Kathryn Huff stepping down from DOE Nuclear Energy post

April 15, 2024, 3:04PMNuclear News


After serving two years as the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy, Kathryn Huff will vacate that position on May 3 and return to teaching. Huff had started at the DOE in May 2021, serving for one year as the principal deputy assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy

“Serving in this capacity has been an unparalleled privilege, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside you--the dedicated and talented public servants in Nuclear Energy, in DOE, and across the Biden-Harris Administration,” Huff wrote in an email announcement to colleagues last week. “I chose this timing to enable the smoothest transition back to my professorship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where my beloved research, students, husband, and dog await.”

Thorium-HALEU fuel pellets begin ATR irradiation campaign

April 15, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
ANEEL fuel experiment capsules being staged at the ATR. (Photo: Clean Core)

Clean Core Thorium Energy (Clean Core) has announced that its ANEEL fuel is ready to begin irradiation testing and qualification at Idaho National Laboratory. The fuel, made of thorium and HALEU, was developed by Clean Core for use in pressurized heavy water reactors, including CANDU (Canadian deuterium-uranium) reactors. Irradiation of the fuel samples in INL’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is set to begin this month.

Hanford brings second Vit Plant melter on line

April 15, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Vit Plant crews begin adding frit into Hanford’s second melter. (Photo: Bechtel National)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management recently announced that crews at the Hanford Site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, recently brought the second of two 300-ton melters up to the operating temperature of 2,100°F.

The Watchful Guardian: Argonne’s ARG-US remote monitoring technologies

April 12, 2024, 3:07PMRadwaste SolutionsKevin A. Brown and Yung Liu
The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. (Photo: DOE)

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are developing and deploying ARG-US (from the Greek Argus, meaning “Watchful Guardian”) remote monitoring systems technologies to enhance the safety, security, and safeguards (3S) of packages of nuclear and other radioactive material during storage, transportation, and disposal.

American Nuclear Society statement on Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

April 12, 2024, 8:27AMPress Releases

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) condemns the recent drone attacks at Ukraine’s shutdown Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in its continued call for an immediate removal of Russian military and personnel from ZNPP.

Radiant horizons: Fission surface power on the moon, Mars, and beyond

April 12, 2024, 7:02AMNuclear NewsLindsay Kaldon
A concept image of NASA’s Fission Surface Power Project. (Image: NASA)

Imagine what our world would be like today without the benefits of electric energy. Think of the inventions and technologies that never would have been. Think of a world without power grids and the electricity that makes them run. Without this power, we’d find it difficult to maintain our industrial and manufacturing bases or enable advancements in the fields of medicine, communications, and computing.

Now consider the moon, our closest celestial neighbor about which we still know so little, waiting for modern-day explorers in spacesuits to unveil its secrets. Lunar exploration and a future lunar economy require reliable, long-lasting, clean sources of power. Nuclear fission answers that call. When assessing the application of nuclear power in space, three Ps should be considered: the present, the potential, and the partnerships.

Commissioning work started at Turkey’s first nuclear plant

April 11, 2024, 3:05PMNuclear News
A model of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Mersin, Turkey. (Image: VOA)

The first unit at Akkuyu, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, has begun the commissioning process. The goal is that the plant will begin supplying energy to the nation next year, according to Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation.

PPPL’s new tabletop stellarator uses off-the-shelf magnets

April 11, 2024, 12:08PMNuclear News
MUSE, the first stellarator to use permanent magnets. (Photo: Michael Livingston/PPPL Communications)

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory are using a stellarator they designed and built using permanent rare-earth magnets and a 3D-printed shell to help test new fusion power concepts. MUSE—the first stellarator built at PPPL in 50 years—took one year to construct and generated its first plasma in February 2023. The work that went into its design has already inspired a stellarator power plant concept being developed by a commercial spin-off, Thea Energy.

Oklo looks to bring microreactor “powerhouse” units on line

April 11, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Concept art of Oklo's Aurora Powerhouse in use. (Source: Oklo)

Next-generation reactor company Oklo Inc. is teaming up with Diamondback Energy Inc. to bring Oklo’s Aurora Powerhouse units to the American Southwest.

The companies signed a nonbinding letter of intent (LOI) this week to collaborate on a 20-year power purchase agreement that would provide 50 MW of electricity per unit to Diamondback’s Permian Basin operations area. The agreement lays out options to renew and extend the agreement for an additional 20-year term, since the units are designed to operate for 40 years without needing to refuel. Diamondback is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Texas.

Taking a train to Texas

April 11, 2024, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions
The first major shipment of depleted uranium oxide for disposal departs the DOE’s Paducah Site in Kentucky in early 2023 for disposal at the WCS facility in Texas.

Last year in late August, 120 storage cylinders of depleted uranium oxide (DUOx) safely arrived by rail in West Texas, having been shipped from the Department of Energy’s Portsmouth Site in Ohio. It was the first such shipment of the stable crystalline powder from the Portsmouth Site and was another milestone in the DOE Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) efforts to ship DUOx for off-site disposal.

Fourth APR-1400 begins commercial operation in South Korea

April 10, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
South Korea’s Shin-Hanul-2 is on the right, with Unit 1 to the left. (Photo: KHNP)

Unit 2 of South Korea’s Shin-Hanul nuclear power plant entered commercial operation on April 5, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power announced. It is the nation’s 26th operating reactor, which continues the upward nuclear trend as South Korea reverses a previous phase-out plan for nuclear.

The SNAP-10A reactor power system

April 10, 2024, 9:31AMNuclear NewsJeremy Hampshire
Left: A technician inserts a steel tube containing fuel into the SNAP-10A reactor core vessel. (Photo: DOE) Right: A cross-section view of the reactor. (Image: DOE)

Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) was an Atomic Energy Commission program with the goal of producing a portable and dependable power source centered around nuclear technology that could be utilized in land, sea, and space applications. The program aimed to provide a compact reactor—a necessity for space applications—and ran from 1955 until 1973, when it was discontinued.