In a global market with different national regulations, on-site testing of power plant components can be complex. Thanks to smart glasses, remote testing should become easier.
March 29, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsChristoph Gatzen and Simon Lemin
VR glasses from manufacturer RealWear.
The challenges of climate change are bringing nuclear energy back into focus. Even in Germany, which decided on a general nuclear phaseout in 2011 as a response to the Fukushima disaster that year, nuclear energy is again being discussed as a bridging technology. Compared with fossil fuels, nuclear saves considerable greenhouse gases. However, for a holistic view of CO2 emissions from power plants, the procurement, maintenance, and repair of plant components must also be considered. At the very least, the CO2 emissions caused by the high costs of testing and maintaining a nuclear power plant can be reduced.
A rendering of Last Energy's nuclear power plant. (Image: Last Energy)
Startup company Last Energy has announced power purchase agreements for 34 units of its 20-MWe nuclear power plants with four industrial partners in Poland and the United Kingdom. In total, according to the company, the deals represent more than $18.9 billion in electricity sales.
Participants in a job fair at the recent 2023 Waste Management Symposia visited a booth hosted by DOE representatives. A virtual component of the job fair is available through March 31. (Photo: DOE)
More than 300 employees from the Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (EM) have recently retired, resulting in a large amount of job vacancies across the cleanup program, according to the DOE.
EM’s Workforce Management Office is implementing recruitment efforts to fill the vacancies with college graduates, early career professionals, mid-career candidates, and seasoned veterans.
According to the DOE, "The open positions offer opportunities across many different disciplines, including engineering, science, business, management, safety and information technology."
Dignitaries assemble after the signing of a memorandum of agreement to help Indonesia develop a nuclear energy program. Among those at the signing were Indonesia's minister for economic affairs Airlangga Hartarto, U.S. ambassador to Indonesia Sung Y. Kim, and U.S. Department of State principal deputy assistant secretary Ann Ganzer. (Photo: State Dept./Erik A. Kurniawan)
The United States and Indonesia have announced a strategic partnership to help the latter nation develop its nuclear energy program, supporting its interest in deploying small modular reactors to meet energy security and climate goals.
Two British Class 88 locomotives transport a nuclear waste flask wagon across Great Britain. (Photos: NTS)
Since its formation in 2005, the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has been tasked with ensuring that the U.K.’s nuclear legacy sites are decommissioned and cleaned up safely, securely, cost-effectively, and in ways that protect the people and the environment.
Situated in a 30-foot-deep pool, the 10 MW core of MURR is used to irradiate samples and produce isotopes for medical radiopharmaceuticals and research. (Photo: University of Missouri)
The University of Missouri intends to build a new, larger research reactor to produce medical radioisotopes, announcing that it intends to issue a request for qualification/request for proposal (RFQ/RFP) in April to solicit interest from qualified parties to provide preliminary designs and industry partnerships for the new reactor project, called NextGen MURR.
Panelists speak at the 2023 Waste Management Symposia “Hot Topics” session. (Photo: DOE)
The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has made great progress in accomplishing its cleanup of legacy radioactive waste but has yet to tackle its most challenging tasks, including the treatment of liquid tank waste at the Hanford, Idaho, and Savannah River sites. That was the consensus of the DOE-EM officials who took part in a panel session of the 2023 Waste Management Symposia, held February 26–March 2 in Phoenix, Ariz.
A technical collaboration agreement was signed by (seated from left) Jay Wileman, GEH; Jeff Lyash, TVA; Ken Hartwick, OPG; and Rafał Kasprów, SGE; and was observed by dignitaries and an audience both in-person and online. (Photo: TVA)
“I’m glad you came to our party!” said GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) chief nuclear officer Nicole Holmes as she prepared to announce that Wilmington, N.C.–based GEH will develop a standard design for its BWRX-300 boiling water small modular reactor with not one but three power producers representing three countries: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and Synthos Green Energy (SGE). Celebration was a theme throughout the March 23 event held in Washington, D.C., which was flush with dignitaries representing the United States, Canada, and Poland.
Seabrook nuclear power plant, located in southern New Hampshire. (Photo: NextEra Energy)
According to a new study conducted by the economics consulting firm Analysis Group, “Massachusetts utilities could save their customers $880 million to more than $2 billion by 2032 by entering into a long-term power purchase contract with the Seabrook Station nuclear plant.” The study, Economic and Environmental Benefits to Massachusetts from the Operation of the Seabrook Nuclear Plant, also found that operation of the plant through 2032 is expected to contribute as much as $2.9 billion to the state’s economy and reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions by 5 million tons per year.
A loaded MP197HB cask is prepared for departure from the Vermont Yankee decommissioning site to West Texas. (Photos: Orano TN)
The rapid changes in the nuclear energy industry over the last decade, driven in part by fluctuating energy market prices and an aging fleet of reactors, have led to the closure of multiple reactors in the United States and other countries. These closures have increased the need for larger and more efficient ways to manage low-level radioactive waste processing and transport capacities. The safe transport of radioactive material is a key component of the overall nuclear industry reliability. Though sometimes perceived as a bottleneck and costly, it is necessary to send waste material to disposal.