AP1000 plant license process in Ukraine advances

July 20, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
(Photo: Energoatom)

Westinghouse has signed a new contract with Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear utility, to provide technical information in support of Energoatom’s feasibility study update for the construction of two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The contract, according to Westinghouse’s announcement, advances the previously signed agreement between Westinghouse and Energoatom for the construction of two of the Generation III+ reactors at Khmelnytskyi Units 5 and 6.

Energy Northwest, Curio partner on recycling used fuel

July 19, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, in Richland, Wash. (Photo: Energy Northwest)

Energy Northwest, owner and operator of Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Wash., recently signed a memorandum of understanding with nuclear technology firm Curio Solutions regarding Curio’s NuCycle nuclear waste recycling process.

Columbia is the Northwest’s only operating nuclear power plant, consisting of one 1,207-MWe boiling water reactor. There are currently 54 concrete and steel casks on site, holding the spent fuel produced by the reactor since it began commercial operation in 1984.

OPG adds nuclear to Green Bond Framework

July 19, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News
Darlington's refurbishment to be aided by Green Bond Framework funds. (Photo: OPG)

Ontario Power Generation has updated its Green Bond Framework to include nuclear energy in recognition of the role the technology stands to play in helping the company reach its decarbonization goals. (OPG’s climate change plan, established in 2020, commits the firm to achieving net-zero carbon emission status by 2040.)

The green bonds issued by the utility and its subsidiaries are used to finance and/or refinance certain energy projects and support the development of clean technologies.

INL researchers take microreactor digital twin for a spin

July 19, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
A screenshot taken from a INL video demonstrating MAGNET and its digital twin. (Source: INL)

Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently performed their first digital twin test of the Microreactor Agile Non-nuclear Experimental Testbed (MAGNET) and captured the demonstration in a video posted July 14. The digital twin—a virtual representation of a microreactor—was built using advancements in remote monitoring, autonomous control, and predictive capabilities that could help lower operating costs of microreactor technologies and enhance their safety.

JET’s 2021 fusion achievement settles a bet more than three decades old

July 18, 2022, 3:04PMNuclear News
A plaque honoring JET’s world record–setting achievement of fusion energy production of 50 megajoules in a single shot (right) and commemorating a 34-year-old bet between Goldston (top left) and Jacquinot (bottom left). (Photo: PPPL and EUROfusion consortium/collage by Kiran Sudarsanan)

A wager struck by two plasma physicists 34 years ago was finally fulfilled in June during the opening day of the 48th European Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics, when Robert Goldston, former director of the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), virtually presented a plaque to his friend and colleague Jean Jacquinot, former director of the Joint European Torus (JET), EUROfusion's flagship fusion experiment based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom. Their bet, and JET’s record-breaking achievements in 2021, were celebrated in an article published by PPPL on July 8.

Construction of Shin-Hanul-3 and -4 to resume

July 18, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Artist's rendering of Shin-Hanul Units 3 and 4. (Image: KHNP)

South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, appears to be following through on his campaign pledge to reverse the previous administration’s domestic nuclear phaseout plan. Earlier this month, Yoon’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy announced a new direction for the nation’s energy policy—one that calls for, among other things, a reembrace of nuclear power. A further announcement on the subject last week provided additional details.

General Atomics looks to silicon carbide for modular tokamak breeding blanket

July 15, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
This fusion tokamak cutaway illustrates how the GAMBL concept would be incorporated into a fusion pilot plant. The SiC-tungsten composite wall provides superior heat-removal capabilities and durability, and a modular approach enables fabrication using existing technologies. (Image: GA)

Researchers at General Atomics (GA) are proposing a breeding blanket made of modular silicon carbide–based components to withstand the intense conditions in a high-power fusion power plant. The GA modular blanket (GAMBL) concept is described in an article published this month in the journal Fusion Engineering and Design, and was introduced by GA in a July 13 press release.

Rolls-Royce picks potential sites for first SMR factory

July 15, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Artist’s rendering of a Rolls-Royce SMR plant. (Image: Rolls-Royce SMR)

U.K.-based reactor developer Rolls-Royce SMR last week announced a list of six potential sites for its first small modular reactor factory. According to the company's announcement, the factory—the largest and most complex of three such facilities envisioned by the company—will manufacture the SMR vessels.

NuScale/Paragon agreement offers reactor protection system to broader industry

July 15, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
Rendering of a VOYGR plant. (Image: NuScale)

NuScale Power and Paragon Energy Solutions have signed a patent license agreement that will make NuScale’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission–approved reactor protection system architecture available to the broader nuclear industry, the two companies announced on July 12.

Known as the Highly Integrated Protection System (HIPS) platform, the system was developed by NuScale and Rock Creek Innovations (RCI), a hardware supplier of commercial nuclear protections systems, over six years of collaboration that began in 2010. Paragon, a supplier of safety-related parts and components, acquired RCI in December 2021.

Construction permit issued for first Egyptian unit

July 14, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
A construction permit was issued for the first of four proposed reactors at Egypt’s El Dabaa site, about 185 miles northwest of Cairo. (Image: Wikipedia)

The Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulation Authority (ENRRA) recently issued the construction permit for the first of four proposed Russian-designed and -supplied reactors at Egypt’s El Dabaa site, located on the Arab nation’s Mediterranean coast, about 185 miles northwest of Cairo.

An application for the permit was submitted by Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA)—the public entity charged with operating the plant—in June of last year.

TVA seeks 5 GW of clean energy, requires availability before 2029

July 13, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
TVA's Watt Bar nuclear power plant.

As part of its strategy to achieve net-zero status by 2050, the Tennessee Valley Authority yesterday issued a request for proposals for supplying up to 5 GW of carbon-free energy that must be operational before 2029.

OPG, X-energy seek industrial sites for the Xe-100 to supply clean power and heat

July 12, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and X-energy will look for opportunities to deploy the Xe-100 high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor at industrial sites in Ontario and identify further potential end users and sites throughout Canada under an agreement announced today.

NRC to hold webinar, collect comments on SHINE’s Mo-99 license

July 11, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a virtual event and teleconference on SHINE Medical Technologies’ plans to license and operate a medical isotope production facility in Janesville, Wis. The online public meeting will be held on July 27 from 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. (EDT).

The NRC is also seeking the public’s views regarding the agency’s draft supplemental environmental impact statement for SHINE’s application for a license to operate the facility, particularly regarding the conclusion that the environmental impacts are not great enough to prevent the NRC from considering issuance of the license.

Sweden to study SMRs at Ringhals

July 11, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Ringhals nuclear power plant. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Vattenfall has initiated a study to look into the feasibility of building at least two small modular reactors adjacent to its Ringhals nuclear power plant, the Swedish state-owned power company announced recently.

Located on Sweden’s west coast about 37 miles south of Gothenburg, Ringhals holds two operating power reactors: Unit 3, a 1,074-MWe pressurized water reactor; and Unit 4, a 1,130-MWe PWR. The facility is also home to two retired units: Unit 1, a boiling water reactor shut down in December 2020; and Unit 2, a PWR taken off line in December 2019.

GLE eyes earlier enrichment, inks agreements with two largest U.S. utilities

July 11, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) signed separate, nonbinding letters of intent in June with the two largest nuclear power operators in the United States—Constellation and Duke Energy—to assess potential nuclear fuel supply chain cooperation, including support for GLE’s deployment of laser enrichment technology in the United States. According to GLE president and chief commercial officer James Dobchuk, who delivered a presentation on June 7 at the World Nuclear Fuel Market Annual Meeting, the company’s baseline deployment schedule could be accelerated by about three years (under favorable market conditions) to supply the nuclear fuel market with uranium in a range of enrichment levels in 2027.

Ten private fusion companies get national lab and university access from INFUSE

July 7, 2022, 3:07PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy announced awards for 18 Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) projects on July 6 that link private fusion energy developers with DOE national laboratories (and, in a first for the program, with U.S. universities) to overcome scientific and technological challenges in fusion energy development. The 18 selected projects include representation from 10 private companies, three national labs, and eight universities.

European Parliament backs “green” label for nuclear and gas

July 7, 2022, 12:02PMNuclear News
The European Union flag. (Photo: Håkan Dahlström, Wikicommons)

In a much-anticipated vote yesterday, EU lawmakers voted down a resolution objecting to the European Commission’s proposal to add nuclear energy and natural gas to the list of green technologies covered by the EU taxonomy—the classification system used by the European Union to steer private investment toward environmentally sustainable economic projects.

The vote, held during the European Parliament’s July 4–7 plenary session, was 328 opposed to the resolution, 278 in favor, and 33 abstaining. An absolute majority—353 members—was required for the resolution to be passed and the proposal vetoed.

Accelerated SRS spent fuel disposition plan to save billions, DOE says

July 7, 2022, 9:34AMRadwaste Solutions

Savannah River Site’s H Canyon and L Basin. (Photo: DOE-EM)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has approved a new plan that will accelerate the disposition of spent nuclear fuel at its Savannah River Site in South Carolina by more than 20 years, which will result in a savings of more than $4 billion.

Under the newly approved approach, called accelerated basin de-inventory (ABD), SRS will dissolve spent fuel at the site’s H Canyon chemical separations facility and send it through the liquid waste program to be vitrified and stored on-site until a federal repository is identified.

Study: Advanced reactors could play major role in U.S. clean energy future

July 6, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

With the proper investment and policy support, advanced nuclear energy has the potential to become a key component of a future U.S. clean energy system, a new report from Berkeley, Calif.’s, Breakthrough Institute finds.

Released this morning, the 155-page Advancing Nuclear Energy: Evaluating Deployment, Investment, and Impact in America’s Clean Energy employs “a high-resolution nationwide model of the United States electricity sector to demonstrate how advanced nuclear reactors might play a major role in a least-cost plan to transition the power grid entirely to clean energy sources by 2050, assuming that the first advanced reactors are available for deployment by 2030,” according to the executive summary.