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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Fort St. Vraine (Photo: NRC)
In a May 15 piece, the editorial board of The Denver Gazette has weighed in on Colorado’s continuing controversy regarding how the state gets its electricity. While the current discourse in the state primarily pits fossil fuels against wind and solar, the board asks, “How about an energy source that generates almost limitless power, leaves no carbon footprint, and produces practically no emissions? It’s nuclear power—as green as you can get.”
The NNSA's ERICA initiative aims to provide resources to develop resiliency against climate-related obstacles like the 2021 shuttering of the Pantex
Plant due to the polar vortex. (Image: NNSA)
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration is establishing an Energy Resilient Infrastructure and Climate Adaptation (ERICA) initiative, which will help position it to deal with climate issues. In a recent press release, the NNSA noted that ERICA will help it to meet the requirements of federal legislature and executive orders, along with the DOE’s climate adaptation, energy resilience, and sustainability goals in support of the agency’s national security missions.
The initiative was outlined in President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget request for the DOE.