INL and Colorado School of Mines strengthen research relationship

February 1, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News

Idaho National Laboratory announced on January 31 that it is expanding its research partnership with the Colorado School of Mines (Mines). Representatives from the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding in October that outlines a framework for collaboration on research into energy storage, high-temperature fuel cells, geothermal energy systems, the nuclear fuel cycle and reactor engineering, environmental science, and next-generation mining science and engineering.

Holtec settles with New Jersey over tax credits

February 1, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Holtec technology and manufacturing campus in Camden, N.J. (Photo: Holtec)

Holtec International has agreed to pay $5 million in penalties to the state of New Jersey to avoid criminal prosecution over $1 million in tax credits that the company, along with Singh Real Estate Enterprises (SRE), sought in 2018. Holtec has also agreed to retain an independent reviewer approved by New Jersey to monitor future applications for state benefits.

Zeno Power will repurpose legacy radioisotope source from ORNL

January 31, 2024, 12:03PMNuclear News

Zeno Power announced on January 26 that it will get the strontium-90 that it needs to fuel full-scale radioisotope power systems (RPSs) for national security and space exploration missions from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM). Under a public-private partnership, a large legacy RPS known as the BUP-500 that had languished, unused, in storage at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been transported to an unnamed commercial radiological facility in Pennsylvania—Zeno Power’s subcontractor—where the Sr-90 it contains will be repurposed as heat sources for Zeno Power devices.

GE Hitachi gets backing from U.K. future nuclear fund

January 31, 2024, 9:32AMNuclear News

The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) awarded £33.6 million (about U.S.$42.8 million) to GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy last week.

The move comes as part of the FNEF’s support for growing the Britain’s generation of 24 GW of nuclear by 2050. The country currently produces around 9,100 megawatts per year.

Reflections from COP28

January 31, 2024, 7:00AMANS News

The American Nuclear Society is hosting "Reflections from COP28," an online panel discussion this Friday, February 2, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (ET). The talk will look back at the event last December and will look ahead to the implications of what transpired in Dubai.

Registration for the free webinar is required.

Plans for Pickering reactor refurbishment underway

January 30, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Pickering nuclear power plant in Ontario, Canada. (Photo: OPG)

Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering nuclear power plant may see decades of new service beyond its original lifespan, which included plans to shut reactors down this year.

Ontario energy minister Todd Smith announced today government support for refurbishing four nuclear reactors collectively known as Pickering B, located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, east of Toronto. This move is part of a larger energy strategy, as forecasts show the demand for electricity is expected to double in the next 25 years.

L&A to increase support for Post Foundation STEM scholarships

January 30, 2024, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

To honor the 50th anniversary of Waste Management Symposia (WMS), Longenecker & Associates (L&A) has announced an increase in its financial support for WMS’s scholarship efforts.

Since launching a 10-year commitment in 2019, L&A has contributed $125,000 to the Post Foundation, which provides scholarships for students pursuing careers in the safe management in nuclear materials and supports their participation in the annual WMS conference on the management of radioactive waste and related topics.

Nukem completes test setup for in-drum waste solidification plant

January 30, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Nukem’s waste solidification plant mock-up. (Photo: Nukem Technologies)

Nukem Technologies, a German-based radioactive waste management company, announced last week that it has successfully completed a mock-up for a state-of-the-art waste solidification plant. The plant will use the in-drum cementation process for encapsulating various types of radioactive waste into a solid, secure form suitable for long-term storage.

IAEA research may boost global access to radiotherapy for some cancers

January 30, 2024, 7:50AMNuclear News
[Click image for full view.] More than 20 African countries have no radiotherapy treatment facilities. Darker blue areas indicate regions of greater population density, while radiotherapy centers are marked with red dots. (Image: IAEA)

More people in low- and middle-income countries who have head and neck cancer may be able to access lifesaving radiotherapy after research supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency has shown that fewer—but higher—doses of radiation treatment resulted in clinical outcomes similar to standard radiotherapy treatments. Reducing overall treatment times for this type of cancer through a treatment regimen called hypofractionation could help countries navigate resource constraints and shorten waitlists, enabling more patients to receive treatment while also reducing the cost and duration of care. The IAEA announced the findings in a news article published January 22.

Ukraine accelerates plans for four new reactors

January 29, 2024, 3:10PMNuclear News
The Khmelnitskiy nuclear power plant, site of Ukraine's planned new reactors. (Photo: RLuts)

Ukraine plans to start construction on four new nuclear plants this summer or fall, the country’s energy minister said in televised remarks today.

The quicker timeline aims to compensate Ukraine for lost energy capacity as its war with Russia continues. Ukraine’s government, however, still needs to sign off on the plans.

“We need vessels,” said energy minister German Galushchenko.

NRC’s RIC to focus on nuclear's changing landscape

January 29, 2024, 12:03PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has opened registration for its 36th annual Regulatory Information Conference, to be held March 12–14 online and in person in North Bethesda, Md. The NRC is expecting several thousand attendees from the United States and around the world for the three-day event.

Registration is required to attend. The full conference program and registration information is available on the NRC’s RIC website and on NRC social media platforms under the tag #NRCRIC2024.

Education outreach promoted by SRS and WIPP

January 29, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
WIPP’s Joy James-Foster (left) visited SRNS’s Kim Mitchell to learn about how to establish a Regional Science Bowl in Carlsbad, N.M. (Photo: SRNS)

A program manager from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant recently visited the Savannah River Site to benchmark an education outreach program’s successful science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) outreach initiatives, which have been in place with local schools since 2008.

Workshop on SMRs scheduled for Ottawa

January 29, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News
The OECD NEA workshop will be held at Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Canada. (Image: OECD NEA)

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency is hosting a workshop on the economics of small modular reactors in Ottawa, Canada, on February 27, 2024.

The workshop will be an in-person event, with no hybrid or virtual attendance option. There is no cost for the workshop, but attendees from relevant organizations will be prioritized due to room capacity.

Registration is required.

Duke Energy cuts jobs, refocuses on clean energy

January 26, 2024, 12:03PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Duke Energy Center (tall silver building at right) in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo: Duke Energy)

Duke Energy has confirmed “limited” layoffs across its territories as part of a company reorganization focused on clean energy.

In a statement, the company said, “Duke Energy is entering the next phase of its clean energy transition, which calls for a transformative expansion and modernization of our clean energy grid. . . . . We are reorganizing for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness.”

Turning the tide

January 26, 2024, 9:31AMNuclear NewsPatrick O’Brien

Patrick O'Brien

The adage “a rising tide raises all boats” keeps coming to my mind whenever I think about the work ahead for small modular reactor and advanced reactor development companies. The groundwork being laid by the entire industry is key to moving the whole group forward together. The drive to construct new nuclear will need to include all sizes, designs, and companies, because unlike in many industries, there is no way there can only be one “winner” if we are to meet climate goals.

Recently, at global climate summit COP28, a large portion of the international community announced a joint aim to triple worldwide nuclear power generation by 2050. This is tremendous news and a huge step in the right direction for many reactor developers. It means that the work developers are doing now will lead to a market for their product for years to come. The questions we must all be asking are “How do we get there?” “Who is going to take the leap of faith to build the first-of-a-kind designs?” and “What challenges lie ahead?”

Mining of new waste disposal panel begins at WIPP

January 25, 2024, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
A continuous miner machine cuts into salt rock as mining begins on Panel 11, one of WIPP’s next waste disposal panels. (Photo: DOE)

For the first time in a decade, crews have started mining a new disposal panel at the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico, the nation’s deep geologic waste repository for defense-related transuranic waste.