U.S., Philippines agree to boost nuclear cooperation

March 28, 2022, 12:07PMNuclear News
U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security Bonnie Jenkins (left) and Philippine energy undersecretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr. (center) sign a memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation at the State Department. Looking on (right) is Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez. (Photo: Philippine Embassy, Washington, D.C.)

The United States and the Philippines recently signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic civil nuclear cooperation to help boost the development of the latter’s nuclear energy program.

David Edsey: A view from outside the nuclear community

March 14, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear NewsRick Michal

David Edsey

This past October, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis held a hearing titled “Good for Business: Private Sector Perspectives on Climate Action.” The hearing reviewed perspectives on the importance of the government’s investments in climate action and how these investments would contribute to job creation and economic growth. Those testifying included the founder of a solar energy company, the head of communications and policy for a popular outdoors clothing company, a former deputy energy secretary for the Department of Energy, and an executive from an insurance company.

While the solar company founder and the communications head spoke out against nuclear energy, the former deputy energy secretary, during testimony, was in favor of it. The insurance executive, David Edsey, also talked in support of nuclear during the committee’s Q&A session after testimony.

Philippines to embark on nuclear energy program

March 9, 2022, 7:01AMNuclear News

Some 19 months after ordering a study to determine the feasibility of introducing nuclear energy into the Philippines’ power generation mix, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the adoption of a “national position for a nuclear energy program” to address the country’s projected phaseout of coal-fired plants. (The Philippines participated in last November’s COP26 conference, where it affirmed its commitment “to shift away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.”)

Piercy's opening remarks at the ANS Winter Meeting

January 19, 2022, 7:04AMANS NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy
cpiercy@ans.org

ANS ended 2021 on a high note with our first post-pandemic national meeting, held in Washington, D.C. What follows is a lightly edited version of remarks, shorn of opening and closing pleasantries, that I gave to 500-plus attendees during the opening plenary session:

I think the big question everyone will be asking this week will be some form of “How did you spend the pandemic?” I can tell you how ANS spent the pandemic: on a strict quarantine diet and fitness program.

We’ve figured out how to maintain what we believe is a higher level of service on 20 percent fewer FTEs. We’ve rebuilt our digital infrastructure and have a firm path forward toward a modern data architecture. We are in the process of selling our headquarters building in La Grange Park, Ill., and moving to a smaller, more manageable footprint in suburban Chicago, with an outpost in Washington, D.C.

NuScale pondering SMRs for Kazakhstan

December 20, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News

In its latest show of interest in Central and Eastern European markets, Portland, Ore.–based NuScale Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP (KNPP) to explore the deployment of NuScale’s small modular reactor plants—recently christened VOYGR—in Kazakhstan.

ANS Winter Meeting: CEM, COP, and the path to net zero

December 9, 2021, 12:02PMNuclear News
A screen capture from the meeting that discussed the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050: (From left) Leah Parks, Giulia Bisconti, Nicholas McMurray, Josh Freed, and Laura Hermann. Panelists who joined the meeting virtually were Sama Bilbao y León and Edie Greaves.

The Thursday morning executive session at last week’s 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo brought together a group of influential nuclear-policy experts from the United States and abroad to discuss the roles nuclear can play in smoothing the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050. Specific topics explored included the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and its Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy (NICE) Future initiative, as well as last month’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. The session was moderated by Leah Parks, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission risk analyst and 2020 ANS Presidential Citation awardee.

ANS COP26 delegates spread the message in Glasgow: Net zero needs nuclear

November 22, 2021, 11:59AMANS News
Volunteers staff the Nuclear for Climate booth in the COP26 conference center. (Photo: Raquel Heredia Silva)

ANS sponsored 10 young nuclear professionals from the Young Generation Network, a branch of the U.K.’s Nuclear Institute, to attend COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, held in Glasgow, Scotland, where they helped deliver what was “by all accounts nuclear’s best representation at the COP ever,” according to George Burnett, one of four U.K.-based attendees sponsored by ANS.

French president calls for new nuclear construction

November 11, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

Macron

In a televised address Tuesday evening, French president Emmanuel Macron announced his government’s intention to build new large nuclear reactors in France to address growing energy and environmental challenges.

“If we want to pay for our energy at reasonable rates and not depend on foreign countries, we must both continue to save energy and invest in the production of carbon-free energy on our soil,” said Macron. “This is why, to guarantee France’s energy independence, to guarantee our country’s electricity supply, and to reach our goals—notably carbon neutrality in 2050—we will for the first time in decades revive the construction of nuclear reactors in our country and continue to develop renewable energy. These investments will allow us to live up to our commitments. As we close COP26 in Glasgow, this is a strong message from France.”

Construction of UAE’s Barakah-3 completed

November 5, 2021, 12:09PMNuclear News
The Barakah nuclear power plant. Unit 3 is the second from left. (Photo: Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation)

The construction of Unit 3 at the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant has been completed, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced yesterday on the sidelines of COP26, the high-profile climate confab taking place in Scotland this week and next.

According to ENEC’s announcement, Barakah-3 will now undergo operational readiness activities and is on track to start up in 2023.

GOP senators introduce their own energy and climate plan

November 4, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer speaks at a November 3 press conference announcing the American Energy, Jobs & Climate Plan.

A trio of Republican lawmakers from Western states—Sens. Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.)—held a press conference at the Capitol yesterday to announce the American Energy, Jobs & Climate Plan, a response to what they termed the “Biden-Kerry Green New Deal.” Also in attendance were fellow Republican senators Ted Cruz (Texas), John Kennedy (La.), and Rob Portman (Ohio).

The plan is “an innovative clean energy and climate strategy with the potential to reduce global [greenhouse gas] emissions by up to 40 percent from today’s levels by 2050 and create thousands of jobs for hard-working Americans,” according to a press release from Sullivan’s office.

In April, the Biden administration announced a target of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, with an interim target of a 50–52 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Exelon to Congress: Pass infrastructure and Build Back Better bills

November 4, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

Crane

Exelon, owner and operator of the nation’s largest nuclear reactor fleet, has made clear its position on the massive infrastructure and social spending bills that federal lawmakers, at this writing, continue to haggle over.

“As world leaders convene in Glasgow for COP26 to address the climate crisis, the need for America to take action has never been more urgent,” said Chris Crane, Exelon’s president and chief executive officer, on Monday. “The bipartisan infrastructure agreement and the policy framework for Build Back Better legislation will make us more competitive globally, spur innovation and support good-paying jobs, protect current and future generations from the worst impacts of climate change, and cement America’s leadership on one of the most pressing challenges—and opportunities—of our time. The time to act is now, and we encourage lawmakers to pass these critical policies into law.”

COP26 and southern Scotland receive cleanest power in the U.K.

November 3, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Nuclear power provided about 70 percent of the electricity for the COP26 meeting in Glasgow on Tuesday, according to data from National Grid’s Carbon Intensity API.

Nuclear output from the Torness and Hunterston B power plants, supported by wind power, gave the southern Scotland region, which includes Glasgow, the lowest carbon electricity in the United Kingdom. Other parts of the country, which lack nuclear and renewable capacity, had to burn coal and gas to meet most of their electricity demand.

U.S., Romania team up to build SMR plant

November 3, 2021, 12:05PMNuclear News
Artist rendering of a NuScale SMR plant.

On the sidelines of the COP26 Conference in Glasgow yesterday, John Kerry, the Biden’s administration’s special presidential envoy for climate, joined Romanian president Klaus Iohannis to announce plans to build a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor plant in Romania. The SMR technology is to be provided by NuScale Power, based in Portland, Ore.

ANS urges COP26 to recognize nuclear energy’s climate role

November 2, 2021, 12:00PMANS NewsCraig Piercy

On behalf of over 10,000 nuclear engineers, scientists, and technologists, the American Nuclear Society urges COP 26 delegates to insist that any agreement arising from COP26 include a strong role for nuclear technology in achieving carbon reduction targets.

Deep decarbonization and electrification of the global economy will require the increased availability of firm, “dispatchable” zero-carbon energy technologies. Nuclear energy is the only energy source with a proven track record of producing firm, zero-carbon energy at the scale needed to meet global goals. Indeed, it’s increasingly clear that achieving net-zero worldwide carbon emissions is simply not feasible without a significant expansion of carbon-free nuclear energy worldwide.

The American Nuclear Society urges COP26 to recognize nuclear energy’s climate role

November 1, 2021, 5:44AMPress Releases

On behalf of over 10,000 nuclear engineers, scientists, and technologists, the American Nuclear Society urges COP 26 delegates to insist that any agreement arising from COP26 include a strong role for nuclear technology in achieving carbon reduction targets.

IAEA provides a must-read for COP26 attendees

October 21, 2021, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Doubtless with the intention of influencing some of the many nuclear agnostics expected at next week’s COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the International Atomic Energy Agency last week released Nuclear Energy for a Net Zero World.

According to the 73-page report, nuclear power is key to achieving the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring a 24/7 energy supply, which provides stability and resilience to electrical grids and facilitates the wider integration of variable renewables, such as wind and solar, needed to drive the clean energy transition.

Granholm, Grossi prepare for 2022 nuclear ministerial conference

September 22, 2021, 12:02PMNuclear News
U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi pose for a photo before their September 21 meeting announcing the next International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Mariano Grossi met in Vienna yesterday during the agency’s 65th General Conference to launch preparations for the next IAEA International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, slated for October 26–28, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Controversy over nuclear organizations’ involvement in the COP26 Green Zone

August 24, 2021, 2:59PMANS Nuclear Cafe

A conversation among nuclear advocates led most to believe that nuclear supporters will have a minimized voice at this year’s UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, commonly known as COP26. According to Kirsty Gogan, cofounder of TerraPraxis and a senior climate and energy advisor to the U.K. government, “All three Green Zone applications by nuclear groups were rejected.” However, it seems some of that may be due to miscommunication regarding application deadlines for the COP26 Green Zone.

U.K. nuclear joins renewables to press for grid decarbonization

June 1, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

Three United Kingdom organizations—the Nuclear Industry Association, RenewableUK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association), and Solar Energy UK—are calling for urgent action to build new nuclear, wind, and solar capacity and for a binding target of 100 percent grid decarbonization by 2035.

The United Kingdom was the first of the world’s major economies to embrace a legal obligation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.