Artistic rendering of a NuScale nuclear power plant. (Image: NuScale Power)
NuScale Power yesterday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Estonia’s Fermi Energia, a company focused on small modular reactor development to address the Baltic state’s climate and energy security goals.
Under the MOU, Fermi Energia will evaluate the Portland, Ore. – based firm’s small modular reactor design for deployment in Estonia. (There are no nuclear power facilities in Estonia or in the other Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania.)
Members of the Xe-100 reactor protection system team and the first set of prototype equipment. (Photo: X-energy)
X-energy, developer of the Xe-100 small modular reactor, has delivered the first of four sets of equipment for the Xe-100 reactor protection system (RPS) prototype, marking the latest milestone in the company’s efforts under the Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).
The Darlington nuclear power plant.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has approved the renewal of the site preparation license for Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington new-build nuclear project. First granted in 2012, the license is now valid until October 11, 2031.
Rendition of the IMSR400 power plant in the configuration proposed for the Darlington site. (Image: Terrestrial Energy)
Terrestrial Energy has upgraded the design of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) nuclear power plant, the company announced on September 14. The proposed facility will now feature 390 MWe of generation capacity for grid supply from twin reactors and generators.
Aerial view of the Morris Operation in Illinois. (Image: GE Hitachi)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun its review of GE Hitachi’s application to renew the license of its Morris Operation, the spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Grundy County, Ill. Notice of the 20-year license renewal application, along with an opportunity to request a hearing or petition for leave to intervene by August 30 was published in the June 30 Federal Register.
TerraPower and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy jointly developed the sodium-cooled Natrium reactor with the turbine hall, nitrate heat storage tanks, and cooling towers separated from the reactor at the back of the site.
The viability of nuclear power ultimately depends on economics. Safety is a requirement, but it does not determine whether a reactor will be deployed. The most economical reactor maximizes revenue while minimizing costs. The lowest-cost reactor is not necessarily the most economical reactor. Different markets impose different requirements on reactors. If the capital cost of Reactor A is 50 percent more than Reactor B but has characteristics that double the revenue, the most economical reactor is Reactor A.
The most important factor is an efficient supply chain, including on-site construction practices. This is the basis for the low capital cost of light water reactors from China and South Korea. The design of the reactor can significantly affect capital cost through its impact on the supply chain. The question is, how can advanced reactors boost revenue and reduce costs?