Startup heaters installed in Hanford’s second waste melter

February 15, 2024, 12:04PMRadwaste Solutions
One of 18 startup heaters is installed in Hanford’s second melter, which will be used to vitrify liquid waste. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced that crews at the Hanford Site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, recently installed 18 temporary startup heaters in the second of two melters in the plant’s Low-Activity Waste Facility.

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.)

Bechtel recruiting for Knoxville office

October 16, 2023, 6:59AMNuclear News
A ribbon cutting marked the opening of Bechtel’s Engineering Execution Center in Knoxville, Tenn. Pictured, from left, are Glenn Jacobs, Angela McAlpin, Sujal Lagowala, John Howanitz, Craig Albert, Wes Hines, and Mark Field. (Photo: Bechtel)

International engineering, construction, and project-management company Bechtel, which is headquartered in Reston, Va., opened its newest office, the Engineering Execution Center, in Knoxville, Tenn. The office—the second Bechtel has opened stateside in the last few months—will provide engineering support for the company’s numerous mission-based projects, and it is the second new U.S. office opened by Bechtel in the past few months—the other being in Chandler, Arizona.

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.

Environmental regulator gives nod to plans for first Polish nuclear plant

September 27, 2023, 4:59PMNuclear News

Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDOŚ) has given its imprimatur to the Central European nation’s plan to build and operate its first nuclear power facility, state-owned utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe announced last Friday.

PEJ, which submitted its environmental impact report for the proposed project to GDOŚ in March 2022, called the decision “a key permit obtained in the investment process, because subsequent administrative approvals, including the decision to determine the location of the investment and the building permit, must comply with the arrangements and conditions contained in the decision on environmental conditions.”

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.

Plan for AP1000 deployment in Poland gains more focus

May 30, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Seated, from left, are Patrick Fragman, CEOof Westinghouse; Łukasz Młynarkiewicz, acting president of PEJ; and Craig Albert, president and chief operating officer of Bechtel. Standing, from left, are Mark Brzezinski, U.S. ambassador to Poland; Anna Moskwa, Poland’s minister of climate and environment; and Mateusz Berger, Poland’s government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company, Bechtel, and Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ)—the three firms leading the effort to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant—have announced the signing of a new agreement that defines the main principles of cooperation on the project’s design and construction and confirms the implementation of its next major stage.

Westinghouse to supply fuel for Dukovany

April 3, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News
Bohdan Zronek, ČEZ board member and director of the firm’s nuclear energy division; Tarik Choho, president of Westinghouse’s nuclear fuel division; and Aziz Dag, senior vice president of BWR and VVER fuel for Westinghouse (seated, left to right) signed the agreement. Also present were David Benes, ČEZ Group CEO, and Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse CEO. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse has signed an agreement with ČEZ, owner and operator of the Czech Republic’s nuclear power plants, to supply VVER-440 fuel assemblies to the Dukovany facility, the American firm announced March 29. Fuel deliveries will commence in 2024, replacing Russia’s TVEL fuel, with an anticipated term of seven years. One of the Czech Republic’s two nuclear power plants, Dukovany houses four Russian-supplied VVER-440/V213 reactors.

Bulgarian firm signs pact with Westinghouse on AP1000 deployment

March 6, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Ivaylo Ivanov (left), member of Kozloduy NPP-Newbuilds’ board of directors, and Elias Gedeon, senior vice president for Westinghouse Energy Systems, complete the signing of an MOU for Westinghouse AP1000 technology. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Continuing to move forward with its ambitions in Central and Eastern Europe, Westinghouse Electric Company last week signed a memorandum of understanding with Kozloduy NPP–Newbuilds (KNPP-NB), establishing a working group to initiate planning for the potential deployment of one or more of the American company’s AP1000 reactors at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

KNPP-NB was established in 2012 to commission new nuclear power capacity at Kozloduy.

The working group, according to a March 2 Westinghouse announcement, will also evaluate regulatory, licensing, and design bases to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, as well as a streamlined execution path to enable Bulgaria to achieve its nuclear energy goals.

Deep Isolation signs mentor-protégé agreement with WIPP contractor

February 28, 2023, 3:02PMRadwaste Solutions
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. (Photo: DOE)

Waste management startup Deep Isolation announced that it has entered into a mentor-protégé agreement with Salado Isolation Mining Contractors (SIMCO), the new Bechtel National–led management and operations contractor for the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Bechtel’s SIMCO assumes WIPP operations

February 14, 2023, 3:02PMRadwaste Solutions
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. (Photo: EPA)

Salado Isolation Mining Contractors (SIMCO), a single-purpose entity comprised of Bechtel National and Los Alamos Technical Associates as a teaming contractor, has assumed responsibility for managing and operating the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Looking back at 2022—July through September

January 5, 2023, 12:12PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2023, let’s look back at what happened in 2022 for the American Nuclear Society and the nuclear community. In today's post that follows, we have compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from July through September 2022.

Stay tuned this week for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

But first:

Bids in for new unit at Dukovany

December 7, 2022, 7:01AMNuclear News
The Dukovany nuclear power plant. (Photo: CEZ Group)

A Westinghouse-Bechtel team, France’s EDF, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have all submitted their initial bids for securing the contract to build a fifth reactor at the Czech Republic’s Dukovany plant, Czech utility ČEZ has announced.

DOE awards $3 billion WIPP M&O contract to Bechtel affiliate

July 13, 2022, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico.

Reston, Va.-based Tularosa Basin Range Services (TBRS), a single-purpose entity under the umbrella of Bechtel National, has been awarded the 10-year, $3 billion management and operating contract for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) by the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM). Located near Carlsbad, N.M., WIPP is the DOE’s geologic repository for defense-generated transuranic waste.

The new contract replaces the current WIPP M&O contract held by Nuclear Waste Partnership, which expires on September 30. The contract with TBRS was announced on July 11.

EDF makes latest move to build EPRs in Poland

June 28, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

Électricité de France has signed cooperation agreements with five Polish companies as it continues its efforts to be named the large-reactor supplier for Poland’s incipient nuclear power program.

Polish firms Polimex Mostostal, Sefako, Tele-Fonika Kable, Uniserv, and ZRE Katowice inked the pacts at the fifth Polish-French Nuclear Industry Day in Ołtarzew, Poland. According to EDF, the event was held to foster collaboration between Polish and French companies in support of the utility giant’s offer to deliver four to six EPRs for the Polish program.

Bechtel, Toshiba partner on Polish nuclear project

June 15, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Bechtel’s Ahmet Tokpinar (right) at the MOU signing ceremony with Toshiba executives Yuki Arima (left) and Kentaro Takagi. (Photo: Bechtel)

Engineering, construction, and project management firm Bechtel Corporation last week announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Toshiba America Energy Systems and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions to pursue a civil nuclear power plant project in Poland.

Meltdown: Drama disguised as a documentary

June 3, 2022, 7:02AMANS Nuclear CafeJohn Fabian
The cooling towers of Unit 2 at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, closed since the accident in 1979.

The Three Mile Island accident in 1979 was the most-studied nuclear reactor event in the U.S. There is a plethora of research about the accident available to the general public, including the president-appointed Kemeny Commission report and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Rogovin inquiry report (split into volume one, and volume two, parts one, two, and three), which are the two detailed government-sponsored investigations into the accident. There are also thousands of documents in the NRC’s ADAMS database available to the public, an excellent overview by NRC historian Samuel Walker Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective, as well as the Nuclear News special report from April 1979, and articles written by ANS members like William Burchill about the accident and the many changes it forced on the industry. If the producers of Meltdown: Three Mile Island—available on Netflix—had read any of those documents instead of relying mostly on input from antinuclear activists, their “documentary” might have been presented with at least some sense of balance and credibility.

Instead, similar to a recent Science Channel documentary on the Three Mile Island accident, Meltdown focuses on drama instead of science. This four-part miniseries does not attempt to provide a balanced set of facts from the technical community and instead relies heavily on nonexpert opinions and anecdotal statements to tell a story that easily falls apart under even the faintest scrutiny.

Nuclear News reached out to multiple ANS members who were involved with either the accident response or the clean up to help provide a critical look at some of the more egregious statements made in the documentary.

Insights from the Three Mile Island accident—Part 2: Improvements

May 6, 2022, 3:06PMNuclear NewsWilliam E. Burchill

Part one of this article, published in the May 2019 issue of Nuclear News[1] and last Friday on Nuclear Newswire, presented insights from the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island-­2 and addressed several issues raised by a previous Nuclear News piece on the accident[2]. Part two discusses safety improvements that have been made by both the industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over the past 40 years.

Bechtel teams up with Polish companies for new nuclear build

April 29, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Mark Brzezinski, U.S. ambassador to Poland, and John Howanitz, president of Bechtel’s nuclear, security, and environmental global business unit, address representatives of 12 Polish companies that signed memorandums of understanding with Bechtel for the potential development of Poland’s civil nuclear program. (Photo: Bechtel)

Bechtel has signed memorandums of understanding with a dozen Polish companies for the potential development of two nuclear power plants as Poland seeks to lessen its dependence on domestic coal and Russian imports for its energy supply.

The MOUs were signed on April 25 during a ceremony at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Warsaw. Offering services ranging from earthwork and infrastructure construction to concrete, tunneling, electrical installations, and heavy cranes, the 12 Polish firms are BAKS, Budimex, Doraco, Energoprojekt-Katowice, Hitachi Energy Poland, ILF, KB Pomorze, Mostostal Warzsawa, Polimex Mostostal, Protea Group, Vistal Gdynia, and Zarmen.