Nuclear News

Published since 1959, Nuclear News is recognized worldwide as the flagship trade publication for the nuclear community. News reports cover plant operations, maintenance and security; policy and legislation; international developments; waste management and fuel; and business and contract award news.

Gavrilas named NRC’s executive director for operations

July 22, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has named Mirela Gavrilas, currently head of the agency’s Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, executive director for operations, effective July 28.

The EDO position is the highest-ranking NRC career position, with responsibilities for overseeing the agency’s operational and administrative functions and serving as the chief operating officer.

“Mirela is extraordinarily qualified for this top leadership position, based on her technical expertise, communication and management skills, and demonstrated ability to modernize work processes and metrics,” said Christopher Hanson, NRC chair. “She is well poised to lead the NRC staff as we tackle challenges and embrace new opportunities, particularly after the recent passage of the ADVANCE Act.”

Missouri radioisotope producer MURR joins European nuclear medicine group

July 22, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The 10 MW core of MURR contributes to the global supply of radioisotopes for medical radiopharmaceuticals and research. (Photo: MURR)

The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) is the latest member of Nuclear Medicine Europe, an industry association for the radiopharmaceutical and molecular imaging industry in Europe, the University of Missouri announced July 17.

The fire that powers the universe: Harnessing inertial fusion energy

July 19, 2024, 3:06PMNuclear NewsBenny Evangelista and Charlie Osolin
Concept art showing an IFE power plant of the future. (Image: Eric Smith/LLNL)

It was a laser shot for the ages. By achieving fusion ignition on December 5, 2022, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory proved that recreating the “fire” that fuels the sun and the stars inside a laboratory on Earth was indeed scientifically possible.

Czech Republic selects KHNP for nuclear plant project

July 19, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Prime Minister Petr Fiala (center right), ČEZ chief executive officer Daniel Beneš (left), and ministers Zbyněk Stanjura (center left) and Jozef Síkela at a press conference on July 17. (Photo: Czech Republic)

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power is now in discussions with the Czech Republic for construction of two nuclear units at the Dukovany site and possible new energy sources at Temelín, the country’s other nuclear power facility.

FIA publishes “snapshot in time” fusion industry report

July 19, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

Following new federal funding and programs announced in June to support a “bold decadal vision” for fusion energy in the United States, and the enactment of the Fusion Energy Act in July, fusion energy trade group the Fusion Industry Association has released its latest annual survey of fusion companies: The Global Fusion Industry in 2024.

This fourth annual report includes responses from three companies that were not surveyed in 2023 as well as an additional $900 million of reported funding in the past year. That’s growth—but growth that falls short of the “bold” expectations set by the eye-popping $2.8 billion of funding reported by private companies in 2022, as media outlets—including Reuters, with the headline “Global Fusion Energy Investment Growth Falls for Second Year”—were quick to point out.

Four million nuclear jobs by 2050: Who will do them?

July 18, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi delivers his opening address at the International Conference on Nuclear Knowledge Management and Human Resources Development. (Photo: Dean Calma/IAEA)

Industry leaders from around the globe met this month to discuss the talent development that will be necessary for the long-term success of the nuclear industry.

The International Conference on Nuclear Knowledge Management and Human Resources Development, hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency, was held in Vienna earlier this month. Discussed there was the agency’s forecast for nuclear capacity to more than double—or hopefully triple—by 2050 and the requirement of more than four million professionals to support the industry.

Virginia utility considers SMRs

July 18, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The North Anna nuclear power plant. (Photo: Dominion)

Dominion Energy Virginia has issued a request for proposals from leading nuclear companies to study the feasibility of putting a small modular reactor at its North Anna nuclear power plant.

While the utility says it is not a commitment to build an SMR at the site, the RFP is “an important first step in evaluating the technology and the North Anna site to support Dominion Energy customers’ future energy needs consistent with the company’s most recent Integrated Resource Plan.”

Vogtle-3 back on line following unplanned outage

July 17, 2024, 11:18AMUpdated July 17, 2024, 8:24PMNuclear News
Unit 3 at the Vogtle nuclear power plant. (Photo: Georgia Power)

One of the new Vogtle units in Georgia was shut down unexpectedly on Monday last week for a valve issue that has since been investigated and repaired. According to multiple local news outlets, Georgia Power reported on July 17 that Unit 3 was back in service.

Southern Company spokesperson Jacob Hawkins confirmed that Vogtle-3 went off line at 9:25 p.m. local time on July 8 “due to lowering water levels in the steam generators caused by a valve issue on one of the three main feedwater pumps.”

INL accelerates nuclear energy research with Bitterroot supercomputer

July 17, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
INL’s new Bitterroot supercomputer installed in the Collaborative Computing Center. (Photo: INL)

A new supercomputer named Bitterroot started operating in June at Idaho National Laboratory’s Collaborative Computing Center (C3) and is speeding up nuclear energy research by improving access to modeling and simulation tools. Bitterroot arrived at INL in March, and the announced July 15 that the supercomputer was open to users on June 18 after installation and an extensive program of testing.

The IAEA targets seafood contaminants and plastic pollution in oceans

July 16, 2024, 3:02PMNuclear News
Researchers take samples of a microorganism that could produce toxins. (Photo: CEAC)

Oceans link all the continents of the world, and fish don’t respect boundary lines. So it’s fitting that a global organization—the International Atomic Energy Agency—is helping nations detect and monitor both plastic pollution and biotoxins in marine algae that can lead to outbreaks of contaminated seafood.

NRC holds public hearing on proposed Palisades restart

July 16, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant during days of operation. (Photo: Entergy Nuclear)

Dozens gathered last week at a public hearing hosted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get feedback on the proposal to restart the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan.

The NRC is beginning its environmental review of plans to repower Palisades after it was shut down in May 2022 and was headed for permanent decommissioning. If the restart is successful, this would be the first return to service of a shuttered U.S. nuclear plant.

Solar, wind output surpass nuclear in first half of 2024

July 16, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
U.S. nuclear vs. renewable electricity generation. (Image: Ember)

The combined energy generation in the United States from solar and wind during the first half of the year was more than that of nuclear plants for the first time, according to data from energy think tank Ember.

Electricity generation from utility-scale solar and wind assets during the first half of 2024 was a record 401.4 terawatt-hours, compared with 390.5 TWh from nuclear reactors

UMich research IDs coal plants with peak potential for a nuclear transition

July 15, 2024, 9:31AMNuclear News
The color-coded scatterplot shows the feasibility of coal-to-nuclear transitions at smaller coal plants (1,000 MWe or less) across the United States, plotted by latitude and longitude. Red and warm colors represent the high feasibility. (Image: Muhammad Rafiul Abdussami, Fastest Path to Zero, University of Michigan)

Comprehensive analysis of 245 operational coal power plants in the United States by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan has scored each site’s advanced reactor hosting feasibility using a broad array of attributes, including socioeconomic factors, safety considerations, proximity to populations, existing nuclear facilities, and transportation networks. The results could help policymakers and utilities make decisions about deploying nuclear reactors at sites with existing transmission lines and a ready workforce.

Duke looks long term for possible next-generation nuclear for Florida site

July 15, 2024, 6:59AMNuclear News

Duke Energy Florida is considering long-term plans for new nuclear development on 5,000 acres it owns near Gainesville.

According to testimony filed in Duke’s three-year, $818 million rate hike request with the Florida Public Utilities Commission, “In the 2038–2048 timeframe, this would be an attractive site for [the] addition of a new zero-emitting load following resource . . . including the potential development of next generation nuclear [small modular reactor] technology.”

Lisa Marshall: Leading by example

July 12, 2024, 3:29PMNuclear NewsPaul LaTour

Lisa Marshall
2024-2025 ANS President

The importance of an education was instilled in Lisa Marshall at a young age by her grandmother. Born in Trinidad, Marshall was raised by her grandparents after her parents emigrated to Canada in pursuit of their educational goals. “My grandmother, Winifred, saw education as the route to the next level,” Marshall said, adding that the family wasn’t even sure if her grandmother had finished elementary school. “She wanted more for us than she had, and she believed the best way to achieve that was through an education.”

When Marshall was young, Winifred walked with her on the road from their house to school every day and was there to greet her when the school day was done. When Marshall was older, she went home for lunch, which her grandmother prepared. “She was a stabilizing force in my life,” Marshall said. “She kept me safe and nourished me. She taught me to be independent. And she always stressed the education part.”

Frank Augustine—ANS member since 1983

July 12, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

Augustine today, at home.

Augustine in 1991, during his years at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.

We welcome ANS members who have careered in the community to submit their own Nuclear Legacy stories, so that the personal history of nuclear power can be captured. For information on submitting your stories, contact

In college I started in physics, but in 1977, during my sophomore year, I decided to pick a more practical major: nuclear engineering. Like many young people, I wanted to make the world a better place.

During my junior year, the Three Mile Island accident occurred. Many of us in nuclear engineering wondered whether we had chosen the wrong major, but our professors assured us there was a future in nuclear power. It seemed at the time a common-sense solution to the predicted shortages of oil and gas, and it was far safer than coal. I stayed the course and ended up getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering.