Critical Maintenance Helps Safeguard a Clean Energy Future

September 21, 2023, 12:06PMSponsored ContentGoodway Technologies

Net zero emission policies across the globe, and more specifically in the USA, have nuclear power plants in the crosshairs of efficiency and safe power generation. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Power currently provides 52% of the nation’s 100% clean electricity. However, shifting energy markets, among other economic factors, have already resulted in the early closure of 12 commercial reactors across the United States since 2013. These closures have put pressure on existing nuclear infrastructure, and the DOE has thus pledged a $6 Billion Program, named the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, to preserve the clean nuclear energy infrastructure of the United States.

EnergySolutions acquires Williams Industrial Services

September 21, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Utah-based EnergySolutions announced that it has completed its acquisition of essentially all of the assets and business lines of Williams Industrial Services Group and its subsidiaries, including its nuclear, fossil fuel, energy delivery, and paper mill operations. The Williams business lines will now become part of EnergySolutions’s newly created Nuclear Services division

Bringing nuclear history forward

September 21, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear NewsJeremy Hampshire

This year’s American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting was filled with great content, some of which was covered in the August issue of Nuclear News (beginning on p. 22). One of the meeting’s executive sessions, “Bringing Nuclear History Forward,” focused on advanced reactor (AR) history and was well attended. The United States—along with many countries around the world—is turning to nuclear to combat climate change. Part of this is funding new and innovative companies to create first-of-a-kind nuclear reactors to provide abundant and clean power. Looking at the current designs of interest to the community brings up interesting comparisons to the test and experimental reactors of the past. Test reactors like the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II), the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), Peach Bottom, Fort St. Vrain, Germany’s AVR, and others now are more important than ever in providing insight, data, and operational lessons learned to develop the next generation of reactors.

Nuclear-powered carbon management options evaluated in DOE report

September 20, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Conceptual art of a direct air capture CO2 removal system. (Image: DOE)

Given how much carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere from fossil fuels, replacing those fuels with clean options like nuclear energy is urgent, but could be likened to shutting the barn door after the proverbial horse has bolted. But what if you could also round up excess CO2 already in the atmosphere? That’s the goal of direct air capture (DAC) and other so-called negative emission technologies—to capture climate warming CO2 for use in products or processes or for permanent storage.

Allied Power acquires Dominion Engineering

September 20, 2023, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Allied Power has acquired Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI), Allied announced last week. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Allied provides a range of services—including routine maintenance, outage services and management, capital construction, and specialized support—for power plants in the United States.

DEI has provided field service equipment, technology, and consulting services for nuclear utilities and operators for more than four decades. Its services include work on refueling outages, decommissioning, and waste management activities.

Constellation, ComEd ink deal for hourly matching with nuclear power

September 19, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Byron nuclear power plant. (Photo: Constellation Energy)

Constellation Energy has announced an agreement with Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), Illinois’s largest electric utility, to power the latter’s 54 offices and metered facilities with locally produced nuclear energy, 24/7.

Washington reaches settlement with DOE in Hanford data access spat

September 19, 2023, 9:32AMRadwaste Solutions
A Department of Ecology inspector at the Hanford Site. (Photo: Department of Ecology)

Washington state’s Department of Ecology said it has reached a settlement with the Department of Energy over access to data the state described as “critical” to the cleanup of the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash.

Bechtel debuts Warsaw office to support Polish foray into nuclear power

September 19, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Reston, Va.–based Bechtel—the engineering, procurement, construction, and project management firm partnering with Westinghouse to deliver Poland its first nuclear power plant—recently announced the opening of an office in Warsaw to support the project.

NRC to hold workshop on AI regulatory applications

September 18, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding the “Data Science and AI Regulatory Applications Workshop,” tomorrow to discuss the agency’s activities for the safe and secure use of artificial intelligence in NRC-regulated activities.

Westinghouse pursues AP300 deployment in Ukraine

September 18, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Westinghouse president and CEO Patrick Fragman (seated at left) and Energoatom president Petro Kotin (seated at right) sign an MOU on AP300 deployment in Ukraine. Standing behind Fragman and Kotin is Ukrainian energy minister German Galushchenko. (Photo: Energoatom)

Westinghouse Electric Company and Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development and deployment of the American firm’s AP300 small modular reactor in the Eastern European state.

Wyoming invites BWXT to assess microreactors for the state

September 18, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Concept art of the BANR microreactor system. (Image: BWXT)

BWX Technologies last week announced a contract with the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) to evaluate the viability of deploying microreactors in the state.

The Lynchburg, Va., tech firm said its BWXT Advanced Technologies subsidiary will execute the two-year, two-phase agreement in close consultation with the state government and other Wyoming organizations and companies.

Jumping hurdles: ARPA-E and the path to advanced reactor deployment

September 15, 2023, 3:31PMNuclear NewsJenifer Shafer and Robert Ledoux

The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), a branch of the Department of Energy, is tasked with driving the research and development of cutting-edge energy technologies. The agency’s core emphasis is on mitigating emissions, increasing energy efficiency, reducing imports, ensuring energy systems resiliency, and offering transformative solutions for the management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel (SNF). Its mission is instrumental in ensuring the United States retains its technological superiority in the design and implementation of new energy technologies. Efforts in SNF research also benefit prior investments in ARPA-E’s MEITNER (Modeling-Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration) and GEMINA (Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets) programs, which seek to substantially decrease the capital and operational expenditures associated with advanced reactors (ARs).

Framatome, Hungary extend cooperation on nuclear power

September 15, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Framatome CEO Bernard Fontana (left) shakes hands with Hungarian energy minister Csaba Lantos. (Photo: Framatome)

France-based Framatome and the Hungary’s Ministry of Energy agreed this week to strengthen their relationship in the field of nuclear energy, including in such areas as fuel supply, education, research and development, implementation of new technologies, and long-term operation.

Bruce-6 connected to grid after refurbishment

September 15, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Bruce Power operations staff synchronizes Unit 6 to the Ontario electrical grid on September 8. (Photo: Bruce Power)

The ongoing major component replacement (MCR) project at Ontario’s Bruce nuclear power plant reached another milestone last Friday with the reconnection to the grid of the facility’s Unit 6 reactor. According to a release from plant operator Bruce Power, the work was completed ahead of schedule and on budget despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOE-supported nuclear data benchmarking will support diverse missions

September 15, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science announced $5.8 million in funding on September 13 for five projects to benchmark nuclear data for a range of nuclear science investigations and applications, including energy, space exploration, and nonproliferation. Four of the five funded projects include participation from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Project Pele will “nurture” a second microreactor: X-energy’s Xe-Mobile

September 14, 2023, 3:06PMNuclear News

The Department of Defense announced on September 13 that it has awarded a contract option to X-energy for the “enhanced engineering design” of a microreactor that could serve as the transportable power source envisioned by the Strategic Capabilities Office’s (SCO) Project Pele. The DOD expects the award for one year of work to “allow a thorough analysis of design options,” resulting in a preliminary engineering design and “initiation of a regulatory preapplication process.”