Terrestrial Energy awarded DOE grant for IMSR licensing

May 17, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
An illustration of an IMSR plant. (Image: Terrestrial Energy)

Ontario–based Terrestrial Energy announced yesterday that its U.S. branch has been awarded a regulatory assistance grant from the Department of Energy to support the company’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing program for the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) plant.

INL waste treatment plant increases production

May 17, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
DOE-EM officials, IWTU employees, and others signed the first stainless steel canister prior to crews filling it with sodium-bearing waste and simulant. Once filled, that canister and 15 others were placed in a concrete vault for storage. (Photo: DOE)

Since the launch of operations just over a month ago, the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) at Idaho National Laboratory has increased sodium-bearing waste treatment fivefold. This activity is a vital step in removing the remaining liquid waste from nearby underground tanks at the site and protecting the underlying Snake River Plain Aquifer.

Shoreline Power awarded major contract for Bruce plant refurbishment

May 17, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
(Photo: Bruce Power)

Bruce Power has awarded a 10-year, C$1.3 billion (about $970 million) fuel channel and feeder replacement (FCFR) contract to Shoreline Power Group for the remaining major component replacement (MCR) projects scheduled for Bruce Units 4, 5, 7, and 8.

First international NuScale E2 Center opens

May 17, 2023, 7:47AMNuclear News
Officials from the U.S. and Romanian governments, NuScale, and Nuclearelectrica gather at the University Politehnica of Bucharest on May 12 to debut the first NuScale E2 Center in Europe in preparation for the deployment of a VOYGR SMR power plant in Doicești, Romania. (Photo: NuScale Power )

NuScale Power has announced the opening of its fifth Energy Exploration (E2) Center, at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, in support of the small modular reactor developer’s ongoing collaboration with the U.S. and Romanian governments and Nuclearelectrica, operator of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

Introducing the new online Buyers Guide database

May 16, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

The American Nuclear Society introduced its online Buyers Guide database earlier this month, timing the release to coincide with the delivery of the 2023 print edition of that publication. The fully searchable database includes content published in both the Nuclear News and Radwaste Solutions annual directories and is available to all ANS members. Users can search through over 600 records to find the right company, partner, or people to keep the nuclear fleet operating. Companies are catalogued and cross-referenced under thousands of nuclear-related categories, products, and services to match any need.

Dominion Energy exec talks SMRs for Virginia

May 16, 2023, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe


At a recent meeting of the Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority, advanced nuclear was on the docket for discussion. According to an article in the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, Dominion Energy vice president for business development Emil Avram discussed Dominion’s plans for developing advanced nuclear facilities featuring small modular reactors in southwestern Virginia, as well as the company’s vision regarding other energy sources.

Avram’s May 9 talk came at a time when Virginia is at the forefront of national efforts to deploy commercial SMRs. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has pledged that the commonwealth will be the first to build and deploy a commercial SMR, with plans to locate it in the coalfield region of southwestern Virginia.

DOE celebrates NIF ignition by funding R&D hubs for inertial fusion energy

May 16, 2023, 7:04AMNuclear News
Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm addresses an audience of lab staff, dignitaries, and media at LLNL. (Photo: LLNL)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory hosted current and former staff, government officials, and media on May 8 to celebrate the lab’s achievement of fusion ignition at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) on December 5, 2022. Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and undersecretary for nuclear security and National Nuclear Security Administration administrator Jill Hruby were in attendance, and Granholm took the opportunity to announce funding of up to $45 million to support inertial fusion energy (IFE) research and development. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE-SC) wants to establish multiple IFE Science and Technology Innovation Hubs (IFE S&T hubs), with total funding for 2023 of up to $9 million for projects lasting up to four years in duration.

Westinghouse submits AP300 regulatory engagement plan to NRC

May 15, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear News
A cutaway depiction of the AP300 SMR. (Image: Westinghouse)

Just days after immediately achieving key-player status in the small modular reactor market with the unveiling of its AP300 SMR, Westinghouse Electric Company on May 9 announced the filing of the new unit’s preapplication regulatory engagement plan with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The plan outlines the preapplication activities Westinghouse intends to carry out with NRC staff to support the AP300’s licensing. According to the announcement, the plan documents the basic design philosophy of the technology, an overview of the proposed licensing approach, and a timeline for the planned preapplication interactions between the NRC and Westinghouse, with the goal of soliciting agency feedback on noteworthy topics.

Reuters: India’s nuclear industry may seek foreign investment

May 15, 2023, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
An Indian postage stamp commemorating the country’s first nuclear reactor at Trombay. (Source: Government of India)

Reuters has reported that India is considering the recommendation of a government panel to overturn the nation’s ban on foreign investment in the domestic nuclear energy industry. The panel—established by think tank Niti Aayog, which is headed by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi—also recommended that policies be revised to allow for greater participation by private Indian companies in the nuclear energy industry, which is currently dominated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam, both of which are wholly owned by the government of India. The panel made these recommendations, according to Reuters, so that “both domestic and foreign private companies can complement nuclear power generation by public companies.”

Site for Dow, X-energy SMR project selected

May 15, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
A digital rendering of the Dow/X-energy Xe-100 plant in Texas. (Image: X-energy)

Dow and X-energy have announced the location of their Xe-100 small modular reactor deployment project: Dow’s UCC Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas. According to a May 11 joint news release, the SMR plant will provide the Seadrift site with power and heat as the site’s existing energy and steam assets near the end of their operational lives.

Purdue Boilermakers eye nuclear power for cleaner campus boilers

May 15, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News

Purdue University and Duke Energy released an interim report on May 10 that documents the first year of an ongoing feasibility study, first announced in April 2022, that could help bring nuclear power to the state of Indiana. No technology has been selected and no decision to build a new nuclear plant has been made at Purdue University or elsewhere in the state, but in the Small Modular Reactor and Advanced Reactor Feasibility Study Interim Report the study participants conclude that “small modular reactors and advanced reactors are a viable option that warrant continued exploration to meet the future carbon-free energy needs of Purdue University and Duke Energy Indiana.”

Making nuclear power plants more resilient

May 12, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear NewsCory Hatch

On September 1, 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington was observing sunspots when a bright flash—a solar flare—erupted from the sun’s surface.

Unbeknownst to Carrington, the solar flare was accompanied by two large expulsions of magnetically charged plasma, what is now known as a coronal mass ejection. That plasma traveled 150 million miles in just 17.6 hours before slamming into the Earth’s magnetic field, inducing strong electrical currents under the Earth’s surface that today could impact electrical circuits across a significant area of the planet.

NPR: Fertilizer byproduct roads for Florida?

May 12, 2023, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
A gypstack in Fort Meade, Fla., the current waste disposal means for phosphogypsum. (Photo: Harvey Henkelmann)

A recent NPR article has reported that Florida legislators have sent a bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis that would require the state’s Department of Transportation to study the use of a radioactive waste material in road paving projects.

ORNL shuttered molten salt reactor made safer

May 12, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
For the first time in 26 years, work crews performed sampling of gaseous byproducts at the MSRE. (Photo: DOE)

The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) facility is one of hundreds of old, contaminated buildings at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee that are slated to be taken down.

When wind doesn’t hold water: The Pacific Northwest’s unusual grid

May 12, 2023, 7:08AMNuclear NewsJames Conca

Washington state has trouble on the horizon—trouble with its electrical grid. Trouble as in not being reliable. Trouble as in big risks of rolling blackouts.

The trouble stems from attempts to decarbonize our society. Getting rid of coal, oil, and gas in generating electricity is the low-hanging fruit, but just getting rid of them without a realistic plan to replace them will do more harm than good.

NorthStar to take ownership of Vallecitos for D&D

May 11, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Vallecitos Nuclear Center in northern California. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy announced May 9 that it intends to transfer ownership of the 1,600-acre GEH Vallecitos Nuclear Center to NorthStar Group Services for nuclear decontamination, decommissioning, and environmental site restoration.

Nuclear is key for grid resilience in an increasingly decarbonized world

May 11, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear NewsAmy Roma

Amy Roma

Flipping on a light switch and knowing that the power will come on is a luxury. While it sounds like a simple act, it is achieved through deliberate government policies that ensure our electricity comes from a mix of sources, some of which are continuously operational—such as nuclear and gas—and some of which only operate at certain times—such as wind and solar. If any one source is unavailable or overly expensive, another source needs to deliver on demand. Diversity of energy sources ensures the grid is able to adapt and recover from changing conditions so that we can always flip the lights on.

While grid resilience—the grid’s ability to anticipate, absorb, and recover from major disruptions and rapidly restore electric service in their wake—is a matter of paramount importance, the source diversity required to achieve this is at risk. For power grids relying on renewables, supply and demand hang in a balance based on time of day and weather.

Holtec receives license for consolidated spent fuel storage site in New Mexico

May 11, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
A rendering of Holtec’s proposed HI-STORE CISF in New Mexico. (Image: Holtec)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to Holtec International to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico. Holtec is proposing building the facility, called the HI-STORE CISF, between the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs in Lea County on land provided by the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA).