Designing a reactor is complicated but building one may be harder. Even companies that have had lots of practice haven’t always done it well. And all the power reactors in service today were built by companies that had years of experience in other kinds of big steam-electric power plants. In contrast, some of the creative new designs now moving toward commercialization come from start-ups that have never built anything at all. How should they prepare?
January 28, 2022, 2:26PMNuclear News
October 16, 2020, 9:04AMANS Nuclear Cafe
After talking about it for decades, the United States is finally ready to take the next step in demonstrating advanced reactor technologies.
We have the bipartisan support from Congress. We have the best innovators in the world. Now it’s time to see what U.S. nuclear companies can really do with the support and resources of the federal government.
The U.S. Department of Energy is all in on new nuclear technologies and we just made our boldest move yet—selecting and supporting two U.S. reactor designs that will be fully operational within the next 7 years.
After evaluating the competitive U.S. reactor design applications that were submitted to our new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program funding opportunity announcement, TerraPower LLC and X-energy were awarded $160 million in initial funding to test, license, and build their advanced reactors under this aggressive timeframe. Pending future appropriations by Congress, the DOE will invest $3.2 billion over 7 years in these projects that will be matched by the industry teams.
February 21, 2020, 10:52PMANS Nuclear Cafe
This week I had some considerable interaction on social media in the area of replacing fossil power at existing sites with micro reactors or SMR’s (Small Modular Reactors.) As we see real progress happening now in these exciting reactor fields (NuScale and Oklo come to mind first, but there are others!) I’d like to share five things to think about as we begin to seriously consider replacing fossil power (coal, oil) at particular sites with nuclear.
January 10, 2019, 3:54PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Welcome to 2019! I hope everyone who took a break enjoyed it. For those who didn't, why didn't you? Initially, I had thoughts of trying to separate from social media and news to a significant extent during the holidays but, after conversations with Linda Zec (our wonderful ANS staff liaison for the Social Media Team, among many other things) decided that it was impractical to do so for a variety of reasons. So, as the holiday furor ebbed and flowed and I continued, still connected, to read news and year-end summations, I found myself wishing that there wouldn't be so much frustrating news in 2019. That's why I decided to open my eighth calendar year writing for the ANS Nuclear Cafe with a wish list, or "listicle" in the inside jargon, if you prefer. Here, in ascending order of importance (or, I suppose, increasing order of unlikelihood) are my five wishes for this new year in nuclear energy. (All on one screen; no annoying "next" buttons. You're welcome.)