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GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR technology chosen for Darlington clean energy project
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has been selected by Ontario Power Generation as technology partner for the Darlington site's new nuclear plant project. GEH will work with OPG to deploy a BWRX-300 small modular reactor as early as 2028 at the Darlington site in Canada.
■ NuScale Power and Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale VOYGR power plants in Kazakhstan. KNPP specializes in the development of nuclear power plant construction in Kazakhstan. The agreement calls for a sharing of nuclear and technical expertise between NuScale and KNPP. Under the MOU, NuScale will support KNPP’s evaluation of NuScale’s SMR technology, including nuclear power plant engineering, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and project-specific studies and design work.
■ PKN ORLEN and Synthos Green Energy have signed an agreement to set up a joint venture, ORLEN Synthos Green Energy, with a goal to prepare and commercialize small nuclear reactor technology, particularly GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 reactors, in Poland. Related, BWXT Canada Ltd. signed a letter of intent with Synthos and GEH for the manufacture of key SMR components for Poland.
Paragon acquires Rock Creek Innovations
Paragon Energy Solutions has acquired Rock Creek Innovations, LLC, a company that designs and licenses the Highly Integrated Protection System (HIPS) platform for use in NRC-regulated nuclear safety related control systems and is a hardware supplier of commercial nuclear protections systems based on the HIPS platform. Several small modular reactor developers have chosen the HIPS platform for their reactor protection systems and other protection systems.
■ EDF announced several industrial cooperation agreements:
Czech-French cooperation: EDF and the following Czech nuclear companies have signed cooperation agreements for the delivery of supply chain materials for EDF’s potential contemplated project at the Dukovany nuclear power plant: BAEST, I&C Energo, Hutní montáže, MICo, MSA, REKO Praha, SIGMA, Škoda JS, ÚJV Řež, and ZAT.
Indo-French cooperation: Regarding the Jaitapur nuclear power plant project in Maharashtra, India, EDF and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) further extended their cooperation agreement in place since 2017 and also qualified L&T’s industrial manufacturing capabilities and assessment of the Indian nuclear supply chain.
Polish-French cooperation: As part of EDF’s strategy to deliver 4 to 6 units for the Polish nuclear power program, the company entered into cooperation agreements with the Polish companies Dominion Polska, Egis Poland, Energomontaż-Północ Gdynia, Rafako, and Zarmen.
■ The Utilities Service Alliance (USA) and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have signed an agreement to, in part, enhance nuclear power plant safety and performance in the USA's fleet. Under the agreement, KHNP will share its 40 years of operating expertise from its 24 operating reactors and its operations and maintenance technologies, equipment, and services. The eight members of the USA are DTE Energy, Energy Northwest, Indiana Michigan Power Company, Luminant, Nebraska Public Power District, STP Nuclear Operating Company, Talen Energy, and Xcel Energy. Fourteen reactors are operated at the USA members' following nine plant sites: Columbia, Comanche Peak, Cook, Cooper, Fermi-2, Monticello, Prairie Island, South Texas Project, and Susquehanna.
■ Russia’s Rosatom and the government of Serbia have signed an agreement to build a nuclear technology center in Serbia at an undisclosed location. The new center would, among other things, produce radioisotopes for medicine and industry. The new center is expected to be completed within three years.
■ A memorandum of understanding was signed by Rolls-Royce SMR Limited and Sheffield Forgemasters to jointly explore commercial mechanisms for a long-term collaboration on the supply of forgings to the Rolls-Royce UK small modular reactor fleet. A Rolls-Royce-led UK SMR consortium aims to build up to 10 SMRs by 2035.
■ NuScale Power, a provider of small modular nuclear reactor technology, has entered into a business agreement with Spring Valley Acquisition Corp. to merge the two companies to become NuScale Power Corporation, “a first-of-its-kind energy company.” Fluor Corporation, the majority owner of NuScale, is expected to control about 60 percent of the new company.
■ NAC International’s OPTIMUS-L transport packaging has received certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The OPTIMUS-L is designed to accommodate low activity nuclear waste and fuel contents, such as low-level wastes, mixed wastes, contact-handled transuranic waste, lower activity intermediate-level waste, low-enriched uranium fuel materials, and other low-activity contents normally requiring shipment under a Type A(F) or Type B packaging requirements.
■ Savannah River Nuclear Solutions has given mini grants totaling $25,000 to schools near the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to develop the site’s employment pipeline by providing science, technology, engineering and math classroom materials and equipment to area educators. Using the grants, teachers can purchase equipment, computer programs, hands-on kits, and other products to enhance their students' performance and STEM learning experience. For decades, SRNS has provided mini grants to schools throughout the region. More than $700,000 has been contributed to date through the program.
Framatome to supply detector systems at the Surry plant
Framatome has been selected to upgrade the incore instrumentation systems for Dominion Energy’s Surry-1 and -2 nuclear power plants as part of Surrey’s Subsequent License Renewal program. Framatome will begin production of the new fixed incore detector systems this year with installation scheduled to start in 2024. As part of the modernization project, FoxGuard Solutions, a subsidiary of Framatome, will provide the cybersecurity assessment, design support, and testing to ensure compliance with the prescribed cybersecurity requirements for the associated digital systems.
In addition, Framatome signed a new strategic cooperation agreement with Rosatom to further expand both companies’ efforts to develop fuel fabrication and instrumentation and control technologies. The new agreement expands the companies’ existing relationship, established through a 2017 memorandum of understanding, creating a framework for joint work in new areas.
■ Laurentis Energy Partners signed long-term commercial agreement with Air Liquide for the distribution of helium-3, an isotope used in quantum computing, neutron research, border security, and medical imaging. Laurentis will obtain the He-3 from tritium stored at the Darlington nuclear power plant in Canada. The tritium is removed from heavy water in the CANDU reactor, owned and operated by Ontario Power Generation, the parent company of Laurentis. The first batch of He-3 was extracted in November.
■ Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with RWE Nuclear GmbH to dismantle two reactors at the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant in Germany. The contract includes several scopes, including dismantling and packaging of the reactor pressure vessels, reactor heads, reactor internals, storage racks, and adjacent concrete shielding structures.
■ Cavendish Nuclear has been awarded an approximate £20 million (about US$26.5 million) contract that will provide the Dounreay site in Scotland with the capability to package solid intermediate level waste. The contract is for the site’s drum handling facility, the scope of which covers detail design, manufacture, installation, and inactive commissioning over a five-year timeframe. The drum handling facility will process and package a variety of waste streams into 500-liter drums, which will then be encapsulated before being placed in a shielded flask. The project forms part of the Shaft and Silo program, which will provide Dounreay with the capability to retrieve, sort, process, and package waste for passive long-term storage.
■ SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins Nuclear Secured Holdings Corporation, in a joint venture partnership with Westinghouse Government Services and Fluor Federal Services, has been awarded a 14-month extension to continue operating the depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion facilities at the Department of Energy's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Ohio. The partnership will continue services to support the conversion project, valued at $153.5 million, which processes the DOE’s inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride to uranium oxides for disposition.