DOE issues RFI for a spent fuel consolidated interim storage facility

July 3, 2024, 3:01PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has issued a request for information opportunity for the design and construction of a federal consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel. The DOE is planning on establishing a federal CISF to manage SNF until a permanent repository is available. In May, the DOE received initial approval, known as “Critical Decision-0,” for such a facility.

The deadline for submissions is September 5.

Durable gallium-based transistors could improve reactor monitoring

June 27, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Kyle Reed and Dianne Ezell of ORNL gather data about the performance of a sensor transistor as it is tested against the radiation within the reactor pool behind them at Ohio State University’s Nuclear Reactor Laboratory. (Photo: Michael Huson/The Ohio State University)

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory want to make the sensors in nuclear power plants more accurate by linking them to electronics that can withstand the intense radiation inside a reactor. Electronics containing transistors made with gallium nitride, a wide-bandgap semiconductor, have been tested in the ionizing radiation environment of space. Now, according to a June 24 article from ORNL, tests carried out in the research reactor at Ohio State University indicate they could withstand neutron bombardment within a nuclear fission reactor.

DOE receives AAR approval of its spent fuel transport railcar

June 11, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The Atlas railcar carries a test load simulating a shipment of spent nuclear fuel. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy announced last week that the Association of American Railroads has certified its Atlas railcar system to operate on all major freight railroads in the United States.

Watch a video of the Atlas railcar development here.

Past DOE officials reflect on their tenures and future of nuclear industry

June 10, 2024, 3:04PMANS News

At the “Past Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Officials Roundtable” webinar on May 20, the American Nuclear Society gathered six past assistant secretaries for the Office of Nuclear Energy for a very special discussion. The group of stellar leaders, who have shaped the current state of innovation and growth around nuclear energy, shared insights from their time as NE-1 and their perspectives about where we must go from here.

DOE receives CD-0 approval for interim SNF storage facility

May 10, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy has received initial approval, known as “Critical Decision-0” (CD-0), for siting a federal consolidated interim storage facility for commercial spent nuclear fuel. Paul Murray, deputy assistant secretary of energy within the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, confirmed to Nuclear Newswire that the DOE received CD-0 approval on May 6.

DOE-NE leadership discuss nuclear in the FY 2025 budget request

April 30, 2024, 12:03PMNuclear News

Members of the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy leadership team detailed the DOE's fiscal year 2025 congressional budget request in a webinar hosted last week by the American Nuclear Society. The DOE’s FY 2025 budget request includes nearly $1.6 billion for the Office of Nuclear Energy. The webinar was sponsored by Paragon Energy Solutions; ANS members can view the recording online.

2024 GAIN vouchers will foster seven new advanced reactor technologies

December 23, 2023, 6:01PMNuclear News
A still from a video on Westinghouse Electric Company’s eVinci microreactor, one of seven advanced reactor technologies that received support in GAIN’s latest round of nuclear energy vouchers. (Image: Westinghouse)

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced December 19 that seven firms will get vouchers to access the nuclear research facilities and expertise of the national laboratory complex in the first round of fiscal year awards. Each company is paired with one or more national laboratories to work on concepts from advanced reactor fueling to fuel recycling to climate forecasting.

Still in need of HALEU, DOE issues RFP for post-enrichment services

November 29, 2023, 9:34AMNuclear News
Image: DOE

The Department of Energy plans to award one or more contracts to deconvert high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) from its post-enrichment gaseous uranium hexafluoride (UF6) state to other chemical forms, such as metal or oxide. The DOE’s final request for proposals (RFP) for deconversion services was issued November 28 as one part of the agency’s effort—under the HALEU Availability Program—to establish a reliable domestic supply of advanced reactor fuel. The DOE will store the deconverted material until it is required by a fuel fabricator or other end user.

X-energy’s mobile microreactor gets support from DOE

October 30, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

X-energy and the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy have reached a cooperative agreement valued at $2.5 million to continue the development of X-energy’s mobile microreactor design, the company announced October 25. The agreement, which extends through 2024, supports X-energy’s work on architecture and key technologies for the preliminary design of a commercial transportable power plant expected to produce 3–5 MWe.

DOE issues additional Cleanup to Clean Energy RFIs

October 20, 2023, 9:32AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy has released two additional requests for information related to its Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative, which aims to repurpose certain DOE-owned lands—portions of which were previously used during the nation’s nuclear weapons program—into sites for clean energy generation, including include solar, geothermal, wind, and nuclear electricity.

Testing completed on DOE’s spent fuel transport railcar

September 28, 2023, 9:18AMRadwaste Solutions
The Atlas railcar carries a test load simulating a shipment of spent nuclear fuel. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has wrapped up testing of its Atlas railcar, successfully completing a round-trip journey from Pueblo, Colo., to Scoville, Idaho. Built to safety standards set by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the 12-axle railcar is designed to transport large containers of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

U.S. agrees to share data, expertise with NEA Data Bank

August 17, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
DOE assistant secretary for nuclear energy Kathryn Huff and NEA director general William D. Magwood IV affirmed U.S. membership in the NEA Data Bank at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo: OECD NEA)

The United States has joined the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Data Bank, a decision that marks “a significant stride in international collaboration for nuclear energy research, safety, and knowledge exchange,” according to the August 16 NEA announcement. “As a country renowned for its scientific and technological excellence, the United States will undoubtedly enrich the Data Bank's repository of data, software, and benchmarks and enhance its role in fostering responsible nuclear development.”

Seven companies get GAIN vouchers in this year’s third award round

June 27, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced June 26 the companies that have received GAIN Nuclear Energy Vouchers, which allow private companies to access the expertise and research capabilities of Department of Energy national laboratories to advance their projects toward commercial deployment. This is the third round of GAIN vouchers awarded for fiscal year 2023; the first round was announced in December 2022 and the second in March.

DOE-NE invests more than $6 million in university nuclear research infrastructure

June 26, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy on June 21 announced just over $6.3 million in funding for 18 projects at 15 universities in 14 states. The funding builds up scientific infrastructure and upgrades research reactors at universities to expand the nation’s scientific capabilities and train the next generation of nuclear energy scientists and engineers.

DOE awards $56 million for nuclear energy  R&D at universities and national labs

June 19, 2023, 3:02PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy announced more than $56 million for 68 nuclear energy projects and student innovation awards across the country on June 15. The projects will support nuclear technology development, early career faculty research activities, and student research at 35 U.S. universities and one national laboratory. Since 2009, the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) has awarded more than $992 million to advance nuclear energy research and train the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists.

ANS responds to DOE’s funding award for consent-based siting

June 16, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
(Image: DOE)

American Nuclear Society Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Craig Piercy responded to the Department of Energy’s awarding the Society about $2 million to lead a team of universities in developing a replicable model for community engagement on nuclear storage, saying the work will help the DOE determine what consensus decision-making looks like in the siting process for facilities storing commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

ANS annual meeting: “Failure is not an option”

June 12, 2023, 3:37PMANS News


The American Nuclear Society’s annual meeting opened on Sunday, June 11, in Indianapolis, Ind., and will run through June 14. The meeting’s theme is “Failure Is Not an Option.”

ANS president Steven Arndt, who ends his yearlong term at the meeting’s end, addressed the audience at the opening plenary on Monday, June 12, noting that nuclear science and technology’s road has been long, but it is up to ANS members and other advocates to push forward the nuclear enterprise’s momentum for a sustainable future.

Before announcing ANS chief executive officer and executive director Craig Piercy to the stage, Arndt thanked the volunteer members, meeting sponsors, and ANS staff, among others, for making ANS meetings happen.

DOE issues revised consent-based siting document

April 27, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy released an updated version of its consent-based siting process on April 25. The DOE will use the process to engage with willing communities to site one or more consolidated interim storage facilities for commercial spent nuclear fuel, reducing the number of locations where spent fuel is stored and easing the burden on U.S. taxpayers.