NuScale takes next step toward SMR deployment in Romania

May 25, 2022, 3:02PMNuclear News
The first overseas NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center is planned for Romania. (Photo: NuScale)

Small modular reactor developer NuScale Power announced on Monday the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Romania’s Nuclearelectrica to conduct engineering studies, technical reviews, and licensing and permitting activities at a site in Doiceşti, Romania, selected as the preferred location for the deployment of a NuScale VOYGR power plant.

ANS responds to NRC’s proposed amendments on decommissioning regulations

May 25, 2022, 12:01PMANS News

ANS President Steven P. Nesbit has submitted comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, on behalf of the Society, regarding the commission’s proposed amendments to regulations on the decommissioning of production and utilization facilities. The NRC’s proposed regulatory changes address numerous areas, including emergency preparedness, physical security, cybersecurity, irradiated fuel management, decommissioning funding assurance, environmental considerations, low-level waste transportation, spent fuel management planning, and drug and alcohol testing.

South Korea makes offer on Poland’s nuclear project

May 25, 2022, 9:22AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Seung Chul Lee, deputy chief executive officer of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, has told the Polish Press Agency that KHNP is willing to cofinance the construction of six nuclear power units in Poland. KHNP formally offered to construct the APR1400 reactors, with a total capacity of 8.4 GW, in April. The Polish government plans to have the country’s first nuclear reactor begin operating in 2033 and for subsequent reactors to be completed every two to three years thereafter.

Michigan House passes bill to study new nuclear build

May 25, 2022, 7:17AMNuclear News

Rep. Graham Filler (Photo: Michigan House Republicans)

It’s not all bad news from Michigan. While it may not make up for the closing of Covert, Mich.’s Palisades nuclear plant, the state’s House of Representatives last week easily approved legislation that calls for a feasibility study to examine the potential for new nuclear generation.

Introduced on April 14 by Rep. Graham Filler (R., 93rd Dist.), House Bill 1609 passed the chamber 85–20 on May 19 (just one day prior to Entergy’s announcement that it closed Palisades 11 days before its scheduled retirement). Now in Senate hands, the measure instructs the Michigan Public Service Commission to engage an outside consulting firm to conduct the study.

Should the bill become law, the commission must deliver a report on the study to the governor and congressional leadership within 18 months.

Join ANS for virtual lecture on computational fluid dynamics

May 24, 2022, 3:00PMANS News

ANS is set to host a virtual event titled “Turbulence Modeling and Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes,” the first in a new four-part lecture series on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) presented by the Society. The webinar runs from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, May 25, and is open to ANS members only. Advance registration is required.

IAEA report moves Uganda closer to nuclear power

May 24, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The flag of Uganda.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has delivered its report on Uganda’s infrastructure development for a nuclear power program to that country’s government, according to ESI Africa. The online power and energy journal states that the energy demand in the country (population: 43 million) has ballooned in recent years as the nation’s economy has expanded.

McMaster University may host the second USNC microreactor in Canada

May 24, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Photo: McMaster University)

McMaster University, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), and Global First Power (GFP) have embarked on a new partnership to study the feasibility of deploying a USNC Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) at McMaster University or an affiliated site. The three partners last week announced a memorandum of understanding that will support research on advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies in support of Canada’s Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 goal.

Poll: Finns favor fission at record level

May 24, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Finnish public’s support for nuclear power is at an all-time high, according to a recent opinion poll conducted by Kantar Public, a London-based consulting and research firm.

Commissioned by Finnish Energy—the trade association for Finland’s energy sector—the poll finds that 60 percent of respondents have either a “fully positive” or “mainly positive” perception of nuclear power as an energy source (34 percent and 26 percent, respectively), up from 49 percent in a 2021 Kantar poll.

2022 ANS Annual Meeting preview webinar is coming

May 23, 2022, 3:00PMANS News

ANS will host its first fully in-person national meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when the 2022 ANS Annual Meeting takes place in Anaheim, Calif., June 12-16.

In anticipation of the event, ANS is putting on a webinar titled Annual Meeting Preview: Getting back to what we do best.” This hourlong sneak peek is on May 24 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) and is free and open to everyone. The program will feature organizers who have been planning the many technical sessions for ANS Annual as well as the three embedded topical meetings:

NNSA cancels M&O contract for Pantex and Y-12, to hold separate contract competitions

May 23, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Pantex Plant in Texas (Photo: NNSA)

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced last week that it is canceling its November 2020 contract solicitation for management and operation of the Pantex Plant and Y-12 National Security Complex and terminating the contract award announced in November 2021 for the two sites. The NNSA intends to hold two new competitions for separate contracts to manage each site.

Entergy closes Palisades 11 days early

May 23, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant

Despite last month’s strong (and many might say overdue) expression of interest from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in extending the operational life of the Palisades nuclear power plant via the Department of Energy’s new Civil Nuclear Credit Program, the facility’s 777-MWe pressurized water reactor was removed from service last Friday—11 days prior to its scheduled May 31 retirement date.

Illinois consumers are saving money by keeping nuclear plants open

May 23, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Byron nuclear power plant (Photo: Constellation)

“Keeping Illinois nuclear plants open is saving some customers $237 a year on average,” reads the headline of a recent CNBC article about the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which was passed by the Illinois legislature and signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in September 2021. The legislation includes a provision to keep Illinois nuclear power plants open to meet the state’s clean energy goals, even if the facilities are not profitable.

Cost drivers of nuclear steam cycle construction

May 20, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear NewsDaniel Moneghan

Interest in reducing carbon emissions around the world continues to climb. As a complement to the increasing deployment of variably generating renewables, advanced nuclear is commonly shown in net-zero grid modeling for 2050 because it represents firm electricity production that can flex in output with load demands.1 However, these projections are challenged by the high levelized cost of electricity associated with legacy nuclear construction, which is often more than double that of modern combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants.

A passionate call to save Diablo Canyon

May 20, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

In a recent opinion piece for the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Heather Hoff describes her conversion from nuclear energy skeptic to advocate and lays out the case for keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open beyond its planned closure in 2025.

Hoff, who is an operations procedure writer at Diablo Canyon, tells how she spent years "excessively and sometimes annoyingly" investigating her concerns about the safety of nuclear after she was first hired at Diablo Canyon. She adds that she almost quit her job after the Fukushima accident until realizing that many concerns about that event were triggered by "fear of nuclear, rather than nuclear itself.”

ANS approves two new student sections

May 20, 2022, 7:01AMANS News
Boise State University students visiting the site of the first nuclear-generated electricity in 1951 at EBR-I. (Photo: BSU)

Earlier this month, the ANS Board of Directors approved the creation of two new student sections—Reed College in Portland, Ore., and Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

ANS’s student sections represent the next generation of nuclear—they are critical to the Society’s goal of aiding the next generation in their pursuit of advancing, fostering, and promoting the development and application of nuclear sciences and technologies for the benefit of humankind. Student sections provide students with the knowledge, tools, and opportunities required to achieve success in or out of the nuclear field.

Penn State wants a Westinghouse eVinci microreactor on campus

May 19, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
Representatives from Westinghouse and Penn State met at Westinghouse headquarters to sign a memorandum of understanding and enter a partnership focused on researching and developing microreactors. From left: Jason Beebe, director of the global transformation office at Westinghouse; Michael Valore, senior director of advance reactor commercialization, Westinghouse; Mike Shaqqo, senior vice president of advanced reactors, Westinghouse; Lora Weiss, senior vice president for research at Penn State; Jean Paul Allain, head of the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State; Geanie Umberger, associate vice president for research and director of industry research collaborations at Penn State; Saya Lee, assistant professor of nuclear engineering; Elia Merzari (back), associate professor of nuclear engineering; and Hilary Ruby, director of transformation for the Americas Operating Plant Services Business Unit at Westinghouse. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Penn State University has announced plans to explore siting a Westinghouse Electric Company eVinci microreactor on its State College campus in central Pennsylvania. Under a memorandum of understanding to perform research and development work that could advance the future commercial deployment of eVinci, a team of researchers in Penn State’s Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering also plans to explore how eVinci could displace some fossil-fueled energy sources on campus.

Georgia Tech–led consortium focuses on emerging technologies and nonproliferation

May 19, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration funds three university–national laboratory consortia: the Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation (ETI), led by the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; the Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, and Verification (MTV), led by the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor; and the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC), led by the University of California–Berkeley. All three consortia are involved in education and research related to nuclear security and nonproliferation.

Defense agency invests in fusion- and radioisotope-powered space propulsion

May 19, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Artist’s rendering of USNC spacecraft using EmberCore. (Image: DIU)

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a Department of Defense organization focused on swiftly putting commercial technology to use in the U.S. military, has awarded contracts for two nuclear technologies—compact fusion and radioisotope heat—for spacecraft that could carry a high-power payload and freely maneuver in cislunar space. The objective is to accelerate ground and flight testing and launch a successful orbital prototype demonstration of each approach in 2027.

NRC extends public comment period on decommissioning rule

May 19, 2022, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the deadline for comments on its new decommissioning rulemaking until August 30. The proposed rule, which would amend NRC regulations pertaining to nuclear facilities transitioning to decommissioning, was first published in the Federal Register on March 3 with deadline for comments of May 17.