Nominations needed for the 2021 ANS election

Each year, ANS leaders are nominated and elected from among the dedicated nuclear technology professionals that make up the Society’s membership. Now is your chance to nominate candidates to run in the 2021 ANS national election for the offices of vice president/president-elect and treasurer and for five positions on the ANS Board of Directors. All terms will begin in June 2021.

Spotlight finds NREL in latest YMG webinar

The ANS Young Members Group (YMG) continues to deliver an in-depth look at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories through a series of live webinars called Spotlight on National Labs. The fourth and most recent webinar focused on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colo., and its role in advancing clean energy technologies and their integration into the global energy system. “It is exciting to have the lead renewable energy national lab discuss their work toward a flexible grid of the future and system integration efforts among all carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy,” said Harsh Desai, YMG chair.

Sponsored Content

Lead Lined Cabinets Custom Designed for Your Needs

By Paul Rochus , MarShield

Lead lined cabinets are utilized across a wide variety of industries including hospitals, nuclear medicine and the nuclear power industry. Some of the applications of shielded cabinets are for storing radioisotopes, radioactive waste, and providing shielding while operating x-ray tubes and protecting sensitive electronic devices from external radiation damage.

Final RFP issued for $6.4-billion cleanup contract

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management on May 27 issued a final request for proposals for the cleanup of the Idaho National Laboratory site, near Idaho Falls, Idaho, and the Fort Saint Vrain facility near Platteville, Colo. The 10-year contract for the projects—collectively called the Idaho Cleanup Project—has an estimated ceiling of about $6.4 billion.

Comments requested on proposed EP rule

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is taking comments on its “Proposed Rule for Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies,” published in the Federal Register on May 12. The proposed rule and associated draft regulatory guide apply to non–light-water reactors and certain nonpower facilities.

Final major module for Vogtle-3 installed

The CB-20 module being installed at Vogtle-3. Photo: Georgia Power

A massive water tank has been placed atop the containment vessel and shield building roof at Vogtle-3, one of two AP1000 reactors currently under construction at Southern Company’s nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Ga. The installation represents the final module placement for the unit and marks the latest significant milestone to be reached at the Vogtle site.

Nuclear-powered rockets could hold key to faster spaceships

An artist’s impression of what a nuclear thermal ship built to take humans to Mars could look like. Photo: NASA

There are a lot of reasons that a faster spaceship is a better one, and nuclear-powered rockets are a way to achieve this, according to an article posted on the Conversation website on May 20.

Study: Advanced reactors a good fit for Puerto Rico

The Nuclear Alternative Project (NAP), a nonprofit group supporting the use of advanced reactors in Puerto Rico, has released the findings of a preliminary feasibility study undertaken to explore in detail the potential for these devices on the Caribbean island. The 288-page study, Preliminary Feasibility Study for Small Modular Reactors and Microreactors for Puerto Rico, was sponsored by the Department of Energy. The study concludes that small modular reactors and microreactors could be part of Puerto Rico’s energy portfolio and potentially supply a substantial part of a strong and diverse zero-emission energy mix.

Nuclear Technology publishes latest research on U.S. transient testing capability

View of the top of the TREAT reactor.

The Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility at Idaho National Laboratory was restarted in 2018 after being in safe standby mode since 1994. The June 2020 issue of the American Nuclear Society's Nuclear Technology (NT) journal features seven technical papers related to the benchmarking of the facility. Wade Marcum, a lead researcher on the project and guest editor of June’s NT issue, explained, “The goal of this effort was to understand, to the best of our ability, the expected response of the TREAT reactor upon its restart.”

Elettra designated an IAEA collaborating center

A collaborating center agreement was signed by Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste and the International Atomic Energy Agency in May. The agreement focuses on advanced light sources and will support countries in research, development, and capacity building in the application of advanced and innovative radiation technologies.

Cleanup of Santa Susana Field Lab site to resume

An aerial view of the Radioactive Materials Handling Facility at California’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory, with the DOE-owned buildings numbered. Photo: DOE

Under an agreement with the state of California, the Department of Energy will soon resume environmental cleanup of the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site in Ventura, Calif., about 36 miles northwest of Los Angeles. In a legal order signed on May 19 with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the department has agreed to demolish 10 of the remaining DOE-owned buildings within the ETEC, including several of the most contaminated buildings.

ANS members re-elected to NEI board of directors

American Nuclear Society members Mark T. Peters, Kenneth W. Robuck, and Thomas R. White were reelected to the Nuclear Energy Institute’s board of directors during its May 20 meeting. The board is composed of executives from companies that hold licenses to operate nuclear energy facilities and selected representatives of other organizations involved in commercial nuclear technologies. Members of the executive committee and the board’s non-utility members typically serve three-year terms, and officers are elected annually.

Navigating Nuclear: Bringing it home

American Nuclear Society members who are parent­ing K–12 students have been drafted to serve as home ed­ucators during the COVID-19 pandemic. While schools may have provided e-learning resources, the school year is at an end. How can concerned parents prevent the dreaded summer slide?

Here’s our suggestion: turn to Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World, ANS’s K–12 curriculum devel­oped in partnership with Discovery Education, and teach nuclear chem­istry! Even if you live apart from the children in your life, consider using Zoom to introduce Navigating Nuclear to children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

DOE awards $13-billion tank closure contract

The Department of Energy has awarded a $13-billion tank closure contract for services at its Hanford Site, near Richland, Wash. The 10-year contract was awarded on May 14 to Hanford Works Restoration, a joint venture of BWXT Technologies and Fluor Corporation that also includes DBD and INTERA, two preselected small businesses that provide specialized modeling and regulatory expertise, respectively.

Hanford Works Restoration will take over from Hanford’s current tank waste contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), whose contract expires at the end of September. The WRPS contract includes a clause that allows the DOE to end the contract earlier to align with a 60-day transition to the new contract.

When a nuclear plant closes

Theresa Knickerbocker, the mayor of the village of Buchanan, N.Y., where the Indian Point nuclear power plant is located, is not happy. What has gotten Ms. Knickerbocker’s ire up is the fact that Indian Point’s Unit 2 was closed on April 30, and Unit 3 is scheduled to close in 2021. The village, population 2,300, is about 1.3 square miles total, with the Indian Point site comprising 240 acres along the Hudson River, 30 miles upstream of Manhattan. Unit 2 was a 1,028-MWe pressurized water reactor; Unit 3 is a 1,041-MWe PWR.

The nuclear plant provides the revenue for half of Buchanan’s annual $6-million budget, Knickerbocker told Nuclear News. That’s $3 million in tax revenues each year that eventually will go away. How will that revenue be replaced? Where will the replacement power come from?

Feature Article

Thinking inside the box

The Optimus-H transport cask on display at the 2020 Waste Management Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

Jeff England, director of transportation projects for NAC International, pointed to the large stainless steel canister, which looked like a giant-­sized silver dumbbell, perched on the flatbed of a semitrailer truck parked in the middle of the expansive exhibit hall in the Phoenix Convention Center. NAC, a provider of nuclear storage, transportation, and consulting services, was using the 2020 Waste Management Conference, held March 8–12 in Phoenix, Ariz., to unveil its newest transport casks, the Optimus-­H and Optimus-­L.

“These are a different niche,” England said of the casks, which were designed to transport radioactive materials, including remote-­handled transuranic waste, high-­activity intermediate-­level waste, low-­enriched uranium, and fissile materials. “You have a lot of [small] drum-­sized packages, and you also have a lot of big packages that will hold around 10 55-­gallon drums. But there’s not anything in between. We hold a 110-­gallon drum capacity.”

ENEC completes key test for Barakah-4

The UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant in 2019. Photo: ENEC

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has completed cold hydrostatic testing at Unit 4 of the Barakah nuclear power plant, the Arab world’s first such facility, located in Abu Dhabi. According to a May 19 ENEC press release, the testing incorporated lessons learned from the plant’s three other units and is a crucial step toward Unit 4’s completion. All four units are 1,345-MWe APR1400 pressurized water reactors. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.