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.
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?
Jhansi R. Kandasamy, vice president of engineering at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), will be the featured guest at the next edition of the ANS Young Members Group’s Rad Talks series.
Register now for the event on Tuesday, May 18, 6:30–8 p.m. EDT. Please note that participation is limited to allow for an interactive discussion.
Details: Kandasamy joined GEH in September 2015 as vice president of engineering, having overall responsibility for operating nuclear plant technical support, modifications, and design, and for small modular reactor design and development. Over the past 30 years, she has held positions in virtually all disciplines of the nuclear power industry. She has worked at the Limerick, Palo Verde, Oyster Creek, Salem, and Hope Creek nuclear power plants. Prior to joining GEH, she worked for Bechtel, Philadelphia Electric Company, Exelon, and PSEG.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) recently announced the resumption of planning activities for future nuclear power generation at its Darlington site, with a goal of hosting a grid-size small modular reactor as soon as 2028. Originally, plans for the Darlington new nuclear project were focused on the construction of traditional large reactors.
Located in Clarington, Ontario, Darlington is the only site in Canada currently licensed for new nuclear. OPG was granted a license from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in 2012 to allow site preparation activities for the project. The company has applied to renew the license, which is set to expire in August 2022. The CNSC will hold a public hearing on June 9–10, 2021, to consider the license renewal.
Early last month, OPG announced that it was working with three grid-scale SMR technology developers—GE Hitachi, Terrestrial Energy, and X-energy—to advance engineering and design work, with the goal of identifying options for future deployment.