Pictured during a tour of the EBR-II site are, from left, Robert Boston, DOE-ID manager; Rep. Mike Simpson (R., Idaho); Secretary Granholm; Director Wagner; and Marianne Walck, INL deputy laboratory director for science and technology. (Photo: INL)
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Idaho National Laboratory on August 3 to meet with INL staff, including director John Wagner, as she toured key research facilities on INL’s 890-square-mile site and the lab’s campus in Idaho Falls.
Unit 3 at the Vogtle site in July 2022. (Photo: Georgia Power)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized Vogtle plant operator Southern Nuclear to load fuel and begin operation at Unit 3—the first reactor to reach this point in the agency’s combined license process. (Prior to 1989, reactors were licensed under a two-step process, requiring both a construction permit and an operating license.)
A contamination suit provided by the EM Nevada Program is on display in the new exhibit at the National Atomic Testing Museum. (Photo: DOE)
The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) celebrated the opening of a new exhibit at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas during a ceremony on August 2.
Created through a partnership between EM and the museum, the permanent exhibit, “Beyond the Manhattan Project: Cleaning up the Legacy of America’s Nuclear Defense and Research Missions,” offers a visual display of EM’s critical work to clean up sites across the country impacted by five decades of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.
NIST's Center for Neutron Research in suburban Gaithersburg, Md. (Photo: NIST)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on August 2 that it had issued a confirmatory order to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for violating NRC requirements during a February 2021 fuel failure at the 20-MWt NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) research reactor in Gaithersburg, Md. NIST committed to improving its training for fuel handing procedures and related management activities, safety culture program, reactor facility operations staff and management, corrective action program and operational procedures, and emergency response resources and procedures, among other things.
Signing the letter of agreement, from the left, are Damian Jamroz, Last Energy Polska general manager; Ryszard Wawryniewicz, LSSE vice president; Piotr Danielski, DB Energy vice president; and Dominik Brach, DB Energy CEO. (Photo: LSSE)
Last Energy, a Washington, D.C.–based small modular reactor startup, has signed a letter of intent with Poland’s Legnica Special Economic Zone (LSSE) and DB Energy for a power plant featuring 10 small modular reactors with 200 MWe of capacity to fuel the region’s industrial activities. (Established in 1997, the LSSE covers 18 subzones located in the central part of southwestern Poland’s Dolnośląskie Province and is home to more than 75 companies providing some 16,000 jobs.)
America’s nuclear navy presently has 86 nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. All of them, and their predecessors over the last 60 years, have performed flawlessly, protecting America as well as their crews. Here, the nuclear submarine USS Seawolf leads the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the conventionally powered Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Oonami DD 111 during exercises in 2009. (Photo: United States Navy)
Just this last April, President Biden officially commissioned the USS Delaware, a new Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, the 18th built in that class and the eighth and final Block III Virginia-class submarine. (The Delaware was administratively commissioned in April 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused delay of the ceremony for two years.)
An artist's rendering of the NuScale plant. (Image: NuScale Power)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has directed its staff to issue a final rule certifying NuScale Power’s small modular reactor design for use in the United States, the agency announced last Friday.
Certification of the Portland, Ore.–based SMR developer’s design will become effective 30 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register. The design will be incorporated as Appendix G to 10 CFR Part 52, Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.
A DUF6 storage cylinder is moved at the Portsmouth DUF6 conversion facility. (Photo: DOE)
The Government Accountability Office is recommending that Congress clarify the Department of Energy’s legal authority to sell depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) left over from uranium enrichment operations at the department’s Portsmouth Site in Ohio and the Paducah Site in Kentucky.
An approach to future plant fabrication and siting suitable for many reactor types and scales, with large potential worldwide benefits
The offshore plant combines two mature technologies: the floating rig and the nuclear reactor.
In recent years, the rate of building new nuclear power plants has slowed internationally except in some rapidly developing countries. In Western countries that have considerable experience with nuclear power, completion of new projects on time and on budget has become more difficult. Shipyard-fabricated plants may offer a new direction for meeting international needs and responding to requirements for better cost control and safety. In this article we offer an overview of the floating nuclear power plant concept, including experience with it to date and its key engineering and strategic features, along with related uncertainties and needed conditions for future projects to be successful.
A worker replaces a manipulator arm at the Savannah River’s SWPF. (Photo: DOE)
Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), the radioactive liquid waste contractor at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, is optimizing some equipment maintenance at the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF). The facility traditionally uses centrifugal contactors in the solvent extraction process, and its laboratory uses manipulators to handle process samples and equipment within its radioactive cell. The equipment requires periodic maintenance and rebuilding.
The U.S. Capitol. Photo: Wikimedia commons.
In a 243–187 vote, the House of Representatives yesterday passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a $280 billion economic competitiveness package aimed at bolstering U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, as well as scientific research and development, including nuclear energy R&D.