Webinar showcases “Hispanic Excellence in the Nuclear Field”

November 6, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month this year, which ran September 15-October 15, the American Nuclear Society hosted the webinar “Hispanic Excellence in the Nuclear Field” on September 20. The panelists shared insights from their accomplished careers and relayed personal anecdotes and practical advice to young nuclear professionals. They also voiced their thoughts about challenges and opportunities facing the Hispanic community in the field.

Technical college introduces nuclear apprenticeship program

November 6, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
SRMC’s Dave Olson makes opening remarks to the new class of nuclear operator apprentices and faculty members at Denmark Technical College. (Photo: SRMC)

Eight new hires from Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) are taking part in the new Liquid Waste Nuclear Operator apprenticeship class at Denmark Technical College in Denmark, S.C. The goal of the class is to prepare SRMC’s new employees for positions at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, in South Carolina.

Constellation completes ownership stake in Texas plant

November 6, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
The South Texas Project nuclear power plant. (Photo: STP Nuclear Operating Co.)

Constellation Energy announced last week that it has completed its acquisition of NRG Energy’s 44 percent ownership stake in the South Texas Project nuclear power plant.

A Q&A with NRC chair Christopher Hanson: The successes and challenges of his first term

November 3, 2023, 3:15PMNuclear News


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is in a difficult position. The commission must manage competing pressures from those who think it overburdens the nuclear industry and needs to move more quickly to respond to the changing regulatory landscape, and from those who think it is too cozy with the industry it’s tasked with regulating. This is a common theme all regulators face, and was one theme of the discussion with the NRC chair, Christopher Hanson.

Hanson was designated chair of the NRC in January 2021 by President Joe Biden and has since wrestled with this dilemma as the person responsible for conducting the administrative, organizational, long-range planning, and budgetary functions of the agency.

Meet the 2024 candidates for ANS vice president/president-elect and the Board of Directors

November 3, 2023, 1:55PMNuclear News

Candidates have been nominated for the 2024 American Nuclear Society national election. Terms will begin in June 2024, following the Annual Meeting. The six national positions open are vice president/president-elect and five seats on the Board of Directors—four U.S. members at-large and one Young Member. Ballots will be sent electronically on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, and must be submitted by 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

X-energy, Ares call off merger plan

November 3, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear News

X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based small modular reactor/nuclear fuel developer, and Ares Acquisition Corporation (AAC), a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company, have agreed to terminate their business combination agreement, effective immediately, the companies announced this week.

ANS leads effort in asking Congress to update SNF disposal regs

November 3, 2023, 7:56AMANS News
Workers walk down an underground passageway at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant transuranic waste repository in New Mexico. (Photo: DOE)

The American Nuclear Society coordinated an effort with eight nongovernmental organizations in asking Congress to update the Environmental Protection Agency’s generic standards for the safe, permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste.

Portsmouth Site tests radiation-detecting drone

November 2, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
A radiation detection drone was tested at the Portsmouth site in southern Ohio. (Photo: DOE)

Through a collaborative effort between the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and the state of Ohio, a drone outfitted with radiation detectors underwent testing recently at the site of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant for potential future use.

Final bids submitted for new reactor at Czech plant

November 2, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Dukovany nuclear power plant. (Photo: INSP)

Elektrárna Dukovany II (EDU II), a subsidiary of Czech utility ČEZ, has received final bids for the construction of a fifth reactor at the Dukovany plant, as well as nonbinding bids for three additional units to be sited at Dukovany and at Temelín, the Czech Republic’s other nuclear power facility. (Dukovany currently houses four Russian VVER-440/V213 pressurized water reactors, while Temelín is home to two VVER-1000/V320s.)

Safford named NRC’s commission secretary

November 2, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced that Carrie M. Safford will be the new secretary of the commission, effective November 5. She is the fifth person in the 48-year history of the NRC to hold the position.

Safford has been serving as deputy director in the Division of Fuel Management, which has regulatory responsibility for nuclear fuel cycle activities in the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

“Carrie has served in a variety of capacities and brings extensive legal and regulatory experience,” said NRC chair Christopher T. Hanson. “Her proven executive leadership and vast knowledge of the agency’s policies and procedures well positions her to keep the Commission’s business functioning smoothly.”

Paradigm Shift: Monitoring Savannah River’s groundwater using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques

November 1, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste SolutionsChris O’Neil
A close-up of the ALTEMIS monitoring device. (Photo: Brad Bohr/SRNL)

Researchers at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), in concert with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Florida International University, are leading the Advanced Long-Term Environmental Monitoring Systems (ALTEMIS) project to move groundwater cleanup from a reactive process to a proactive process, while also reducing the cost of long-term monitoring and accelerating site closure.

NNSA partners with Jordan to remove irradiators

November 1, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Radiological Security (ORS), part of the Department of Energy, announced this week that it partnered with Jordan's Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) to replace all of Jordan’s high-activity cesium-137 irradiators with X-ray technology.

House approves FY 2024 energy funding bill

November 1, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News

With a new speaker finally seated, the GOP-led House of Representatives recently passed the fiscal year 2024 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4394) in a near–party line vote of 210–199. A lone Republican—Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado—opposed the measure, as did all voting Democrats.

The remediation of Maywood

October 31, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste SolutionsJoAnne Castagna
USACE District Commander Mathew Luzzatto (right) is shown a map of the FUSRAP Maywood Superfund site in New Jersey in February 2023. (Photo: Nayelli Guerrero/USACE).

It is the 1940s in Maywood, N.J. A new residential community has sprouted up, and the homeowners want to beautify their front lawns, so they go to a nearby property to gather some fresh topsoil. Little did they know that they’re helping to plant the seeds for one of the largest and most high-profile environmental cleanup projects in the nation.

Zeno demonstrates its first Sr-90 radioisotope heat source

October 31, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Fabricated Z1 heat source in transfer port. (Photo: Zeno Power)

Zeno Power, a developer of commercial radioisotope power systems (RPSs), announced on October 26 that it has completed the design, fabrication, and testing of its Z1 strontium-90 heat source. According to Zeno, they have tested the first commercially developed radioisotope heat source and reached a key milestone for Zeno to begin delivering RPSs to customers in 2025.

EPRI joins NEA in joint advanced reactor waste project

October 31, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
NEA director general William Magwood (left) and EPRI senior vice president Neil Wilmshurst finalize EPRI support for the joint WISARD project. (Photo: NEA)

The Nuclear Energy Agency has announced a new collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute on an upcoming project that will focus on waste management strategies for small modular reactors and advanced nuclear energy systems.

House panel advances raft of pro-nuclear bills

October 31, 2023, 7:19AMNuclear News
Rep. Jeff Duncan (Image: House.gov)

At a legislative markup session last week, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee approved 17 energy bills for consideration by the full E&C committee, including 12 measures to boost and streamline the deployment of nuclear power. The nuclear-related bills cleared the subcommittee by voice vote with bipartisan support.

“Our shared goal in this committee is to advance bipartisan, durable policy that will expand nuclear energy and its benefits for the nation,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), chair of the E&C’s Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee, in his opening remarks on October 24. “Chair Rodgers, ranking members Pallone and DeGette, and I sent a bipartisan request for information to a variety of stakeholders this past April. Based on feedback from this request and the hearings we’ve had since, it’s clear that more can be done to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy to advance nuclear energy in this country.”