Focused Energy partners with LLNL on inertial fusion energy targets

November 10, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Concept art showing inertial fusion ignition. (Image: Focused Energy)

Focused Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have signed a strategic partnership project agreement that will allow LLNL—home of the National Ignition Facility (NIF)—to help the company develop and assess isochoric compression target designs for inertial fusion energy. Focused Energy announced the news on November 7.

Cameco, Brookfield complete Westinghouse acquisition

November 10, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Cameco, the front-end uranium mining, milling, and conversion company headquartered in Saskatchewan, Canada, is now officially a co-owner of Westinghouse Electric Company—alongside Brookfield Asset Management, its publicly listed affiliate Brookfield Renewable Partners, and its institutional partners.

PG&E files 20-year license renewal application for Diablo Canyon

November 10, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Pacific Gas and Electric earlier this week filed a license renewal application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the lifetime of California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by up to 20 years. Diablo Canyon generates 8 percent of the state’s clean electricity, providing carbon-free electricity to 3 million people.

Illinois lawmakers pass new bill to lift state’s nuclear ban

November 9, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear News
Sen. Sue Rezin (at lectern), speaking on H.B. 2473 on Tuesday. (Photo: Sue Rezin)

While an initial bill aimed at lifting the decades-old ban on new nuclear construction in Illinois was vetoed in August by Gov. J. B. Pritzker, the state’s nuclear-friendly legislature is giving the effort another shot, opting to pursue new legislation rather than a veto override.

UAMPS and NuScale drop plans to build SMRs at INL

November 9, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Concept art of the six-module CFPP at INL, terminated before construction could begin. (Image: NuScale)

Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and NuScale Power announced November 8 that they have mutually agreed to end the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP)—a plan to build a set of 77-MWe pressurized water reactors, called NuScale Power Modules, at Idaho National Laboratory. The reactors were intended to provide power to INL and UAMPS customers in Utah and surrounding states with an anticipated start date of 2029.

NRC releases decommissioned Zion site for unrestricted use

November 9, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
The Zion nuclear plant site as it appeared earlier this year. (Photo: Tim Gregoire)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released for “unrestricted use” most of the land on and around where the Zion nuclear power plant once operated in northeastern Illinois. This means that any residual radiation is below the NRC’s limits and there will be no further regulatory controls by the agency for that portion of the property.

Centrus meets initial HALEU enrichment requirements with 20 kg delivery

November 9, 2023, 7:05AMNuclear News
Centrus Energy staff posing in front of the American Centrifuge Plant. (Image: Centrus Energy)

Centrus Energy and the Department of Energy announced November 7 that Centrus has produced 20 kilograms of HALEU at the DOE-owned American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, satisfying Phase One of a DOE contract to stand up and operate 16 advanced centrifuges. Centrus will now move on to Phase Two of the contract, which requires a full year of HALEU production at a rate of 900 kilograms per year.


A piece of nuclear history: Digitizing archived nuclear films

November 8, 2023, 3:00PMANS News

As far back as the 1940s, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and other organizations commissioned dozens of nuclear energy–related educational films. They delve into a variety of topics, including the development of nuclear reactors, radiation and reactors for space, and the political history of nuclear technology in the United States.

Belarusian Unit 2 begins commercial operation

November 8, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Belarusian nuclear plant. (Photo: Rosatom)

The second of the two VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at Belarusian, the sole nuclear power plant in Belarus, has entered commercial operation, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation Rosatom announced last week.

Hanford pours first glass from Vit Plant melter

November 8, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Workers monitor the pouring of melter glass from a control room in Hanford’s LAW Facility. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management said crews at its Hanford Site in Washington state have started pouring the first molten glass from a waste vitrification melter into a stainless steel container at the site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant.

IAEA gives thumbs-up to Estonia’s nuclear infrastructure development

November 8, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
Eric Mathet (left), operational lead of the IAEA’s nuclear infrastructure development section, presents the INIR mission report to Antti Tooming, deputy secretary general of Estonia’s Ministry of Climate and head of the country’s nuclear energy working group.

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency recently concluded an eight-day mission to Estonia, finding that the Baltic state has developed a comprehensive assessment of its nuclear infrastructure development needs, enabling the government to make an informed decision on whether to pursue a nuclear power program.

The safe plan for Japan’s wastewater

November 7, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear NewsKen Petersen

Ken Petersen

There has been a lot of breathless coverage surrounding the release of mildly tritiated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi site, generated in no small part by people, organizations, and even nations with a political axe to grind. But here are the facts:

On August 24, 2023, Fukushima Daiichi began its first release of tritium-containing water, following the Japanese government’s plans to meet all international guidelines. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has established a permanent office at the plant, provided on-site observation, online monitoring, and an independent analysis of the release. (The IAEA will continue to do so for all future releases.) Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that analyses of water samples taken from the sea within three kilometers of the plant showed tritium concentrations below 10 becquerels per liter, well below the 700 becquerels per liter set by the utility for suspending the release, and substantially below the drinking water quality standard of 10,000 becquerels per liter set by the World Health Organization.

Hanford upgrades its Effluent Treatment Facility

November 7, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
The Hanford Site’s ETF has been expanded. (Photo: DOE)

The Hanford Site’s Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) has been expanded and will be able to handle almost 7 million more gallons of wastewater per year once the site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) begins treating waste from large underground tanks.

Report: SMRs to bring jobs and economic benefits to Ontario

November 7, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

This past January, Wilmington, N.C.–based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Canadian firms Ontario Power Generation, SNC-Lavalin, and Aecon signed a contract for the deployment of the American firm’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor at OPG’s Darlington nuclear plant in Clarington, Ontario.

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.