Obstacles to new nuclear in Sweden cleared

December 4, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Aerial view of Sweden’s parliament building, Riksdagshuset, in Stockholm. (Photo: Arild Vågen/Wikipedia)

Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, has approved legislative amendments from Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s government that will remove the country’s prohibition on new reactor construction at sites other than Sweden’s three current nuclear plants—Forsmark, Ringhals, and Oskarshamn—and do away with the limitation on the number of simultaneously operating reactors, currently capped at 10.

The amendments enter force on January 1.

“The Riksdag shares the government’s assessment that fossil-free electricity from nuclear power will also continue to play a role of central importance in the Swedish energy mix,” the legislative body said in a statement following the November 29 vote. “The main reasons for this are an expected greater demand for electricity in combination with the fact that fossil fuels have to be phased out, particularly for climate reasons. Nuclear power also contributes to the stable and predictable functioning of the Swedish power system.”

Westinghouse, OPG to explore reactor deployment opportunities

November 30, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News
Westinghouse’s Fragman (left) and OPG’s Ken Hartwick at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company and Ontario Power Generation have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a framework to identify potential areas of cooperation for the deployment of nuclear technologies in Canada, the companies jointly announced this morning. (While based in Cranberry Township, Pa., Westinghouse is owned by Canadian firms Brookfield Asset Management and Cameco.)

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.)

Westinghouse launches microreactor “accelerator hub”

October 27, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Concept art of the eVinci accelerator hub, soon to be home to engineering and licensing operations, testing, prototype trials, business development, and sales. (Image: Westinghouse)

To help speed up commercialization of its eVinci microreactor, Westinghouse Electric Company this week launched a new design and manufacturing facility for the project near downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. Located in the borough of Etna, the 87,000-square-foot eVinci “accelerator hub” will be home to engineering and licensing operations, testing, prototype trials, business development, and sales, Westinghouse said in an October 24 announcement, adding that the facility will include manufacturing space for producing the “innovative heat pipes that are central to the eVinci technology.”

U.K. picks six to advance in SMR competition

October 4, 2023, 12:08PMNuclear News

The U.K. government has chosen six companies to participate in the next stage of its small modular reactor competition: EDF, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Holtec Britain Limited, NuScale Power, Rolls-Royce SMR (the only real home team), and Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited. According to the government’s October 2 announcement, the advanced technologies offered by these firms are “the most able to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s.”

Engineering services contract signed for first Polish plant

September 29, 2023, 6:55AMNuclear News
At the September 27 signing ceremony for the engineering services contract to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant are, from left, John Howanitz, president of Bechtel’s nuclear, security, and environmental global business unit; Westinghouse president and CEO Patrick Fragman; Polish government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska; Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki; U.S. ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski; assistant secretary of energy for international affairs Andrew Light; and Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe president Mateusz Berger. (Photo: Bechtel)

Just one week after inking a consortium agreement to partner on the design and construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant, Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel joined state-owned Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) in Warsaw on Wednesday for the signing of the project’s engineering services contract.

Westinghouse, Bechtel sign consortium agreement for first nuclear plant in Poland

September 26, 2023, 3:45PMNuclear News
At the Bechtel/Westinghouse consortium agreement signing ceremony at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, were, from left, U.S. ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski; Ahmet Tokpinar, general manager of Bechtel’s nuclear power business line; Elias Gedeon, senior vice president for commercial operations at Westinghouse; Mirosław Kowalik, president of Westinghouse Poland; and Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Poland government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure. (Photo: Bechtel)

Westinghouse Electric Company and engineering, construction, and project management firm Bechtel on September 20 announced the signing of a consortium agreement to partner on the design and construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant.

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.

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.

EDF, JAVYS ink new nuclear pact for Slovakia

September 6, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Pavol Štuller, JAVYS chairman and chief executive officer, on the left, and Vakisasai Ramany, EDF senior vice president in charge of new nuclear development, sign an agreement in Paris.

Slovakia’s state-owned nuclear company JAVYS has announced the signing of a framework cooperation agreement (FCA) with France’s EDF for further cooperation “in the field of nuclear energy and in the implementation of projects aimed at development of large power reactors and small modular reactors.” Currently, the Slovakian nuclear fleet consists of two VVER-440/V213 pressurized water reactors at Bohunice, and two at Mochovce (with two more units on their way).

The signing took place on August 25 during an official visit to Paris by Slovakia’s minister of economy Peter Dovhun.

Vogtle-4 fuel load started

August 18, 2023, 12:58PMNuclear News
The Vogtle-4 reactor cavity in July. (Photo: Georgia Power)

Georgia Power has begun the process of loading fuel into the Vogtle plant’s Unit 4 reactor, the company announced yesterday, marking another pivotal milestone toward commercial operation of the second of the facility’s two new units.

PEJ looks to build nuclear workforce in Poland

August 8, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Łukasz Młynarkiewicz (left), acting president of PEJ, and Krzysztof Zaremba, rector of the Warsaw University of Technology, signed an agreement on August 7 regarding the training of personnel for Poland’s nuclear energy program. (Photo: Warsaw University of Technology)

Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ), the state-owned firm set up to lead Poland’s efforts to establish a civil nuclear power program, signed an agreement yesterday with the Warsaw University of Technology to cooperate on the training of personnel for the nuclear sector.

The agreement provides for “substantive and research cooperation” as well as “cooperation in the development and implementation of scholarship programs [and] co-organization of competitions for scientific works or design competitions,” PEJ said in a news release. PEJ and the university will also work together on a curriculum to enable graduates to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to find employment in the nuclear energy field, the company added.

According to Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, there are already some 80 companies operating in the Central European nation that provide services to nuclear technology vendors worldwide, with another 300 ready to join the nuclear supply chain.

NRC dockets application for updated NuScale design

August 2, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Marking the NRC’s acceptance of NuScale’s standard design approval application for formal review are, left to right, Getachew Tesfaye, NRC senior project manager; Robert Gamble, NuScale vice president of engineering; Brian Smith, NRC director of the Division of New and Renewed Licenses; Carrie Fosaaen, NuScale vice president of regulatory affairs; Karin Feldman, NuScale vice president of the program management office; Robert Taylor, NRC deputy office director for new reactors; and Mark Shaver, NuScale director of regulatory affairs. (Photo: NuScale)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for formal review NuScale Power’s standard design approval (SDA) application for its updated small modular reactor design, the Portland, Ore.–based firm announced yesterday.

Vogtle-3 begins commercial operation

July 31, 2023, 12:39PMNuclear News
Vogtle-3 (Photo: Georgia Power)

To the ears of the nuclear community, the news from Georgia Power this morning may sound a bit like “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth: After years of delay, Unit 3 at the Vogtle nuclear power plant has entered commercial operation, becoming the first newly constructed power reactor in the United States in more than 30 years and the nation’s first Westinghouse-supplied Generation III+ AP1000 unit to be placed into service. The new unit joins Vogtle-1 and -2—1,169-MWe four-loop pressurized water reactors that entered commercial operation in the late 1980s.

Westinghouse scores trio of grants from U.K. fuel fund

July 28, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
An aerial view of Westinghouse’s Springfields Fuel Fabrication Facility, near Preston, Lancashire, in northwestern England. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Through its now one-year-old Nuclear Fuel Fund, the U.K. government has awarded Westinghouse three grants to upgrade and expand the Springfields Fuel Fabrication Facility to support Britain’s next-generation nuclear reactors, the American-based company announced yesterday.

All ITAACs for Vogtle-4 completed

July 24, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Vogtle’s Unit 4 reactor in June. (Photo: Georgia Power)

Southern Nuclear, operator of Georgia’s Vogtle plant, has informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that all 364 inspections, tests, and analyses for Unit 4 have been performed, and all acceptance criteria for the new reactor have been met. Primary plant owner Georgia Power made the announcement last Friday.

Slovakia shows interest in deploying Westinghouse reactors

July 18, 2023, 3:06PMNuclear News
From left: Petr Brzezina, president, Westinghouse Czech Republic and Slovakia; Elias Gedeon, senior vice president, Westinghouse commercial operations; Gautam Rana, U.S. ambassador to Slovakia; and Pavol Štuller, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, JAVYS. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company yesterday announced the signing of two memorandums of understanding with Slovakia’s state-owned nuclear company JAVYS regarding the potential deployment of the U.S. firm’s AP1000 reactors and AP300 small modular reactors.

Bulgaria, Ukraine to cooperate on nuclear energy

July 12, 2023, 3:12PMNuclear News
In the foreground, from left: Ukrainian energy minister German Galushchenko and Bulgarian energy minister Rumen Radev at the MOU signing ceremony in Sofia, Bulgaria. Looking on are (from left) Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Bulgarian prime minister Nikolai Denkov.

The energy ministries of Bulgaria and Ukraine have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the energy sector, including the nuclear energy sector.

Change to climate goal language boosts Sweden’s nuclear prospects

July 5, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, recently endorsed a proposal in the government’s spring amending budget to change the country’s 2040 climate goal of 100 percent renewable electricity production to 100 percent fossil fuel–free electricity production.