NRC holds public hearing on proposed Palisades restart

July 16, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant during days of operation. (Photo: Entergy Nuclear)

Dozens gathered last week at a public hearing hosted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get feedback on the proposal to restart the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan.

The NRC is beginning its environmental review of plans to repower Palisades after it was shut down in May 2022 and was headed for permanent decommissioning. If the restart is successful, this would be the first return to service of a shuttered U.S. nuclear plant.

Court vacates Holtec’s license for New Mexico spent fuel facility

April 3, 2024, 7:27AMNuclear News
Concept art of Holtec’s proposed HI-STORE CISF in New Mexico. (Image: Holtec)

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated Holtec International’s license to build and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the license for the Holtec facility, called the HI-STORE CISF in May 2023.

DOE makes conditional commitment to Palisades’ restoration and resumption of service

March 27, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township, Mich.

The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) today announced a conditional commitment of up to $1.52 billion for a loan guarantee to Holtec Palisades LLC to finance the restoration and resumption of service of the 800-MWe Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township, Mich.

American Nuclear Society on DOE loan to restart closed Michigan nuclear plant

March 27, 2024, 9:35AMPress Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. The American Nuclear Society (ANS), a nonprofit representing over 10,000 professionals in the fields of nuclear science and technology, issued the following statements regarding today’s announcement of a $1.5 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for repowering the shuttered Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township, Michigan.

State: Holtec must study nonradioactive pollution in Pilgrim’s evaporation

February 2, 2024, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Pilgrim nuclear power plant. (Photo: Holtec)

The state of Massachusetts is looking to require Holtec, the owners of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant, to analyze water evaporation at the plant for potential air pollution as the unit is decommissioned.

At a hearing this week with a state Department of Environmental Protection panel, officials said that more study is needed on nonradioactive contaminants in about 1 million gallons of water that Holtec has proposed discharging into Cape Cod Bay.

Holtec settles with New Jersey over tax credits

February 1, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Holtec technology and manufacturing campus in Camden, N.J. (Photo: Holtec)

Holtec International has agreed to pay $5 million in penalties to the state of New Jersey to avoid criminal prosecution over $1 million in tax credits that the company, along with Singh Real Estate Enterprises (SRE), sought in 2018. Holtec has also agreed to retain an independent reviewer approved by New Jersey to monitor future applications for state benefits.

Turning the tide

January 26, 2024, 9:31AMNuclear NewsPatrick O’Brien

Patrick O'Brien

The adage “a rising tide raises all boats” keeps coming to my mind whenever I think about the work ahead for small modular reactor and advanced reactor development companies. The groundwork being laid by the entire industry is key to moving the whole group forward together. The drive to construct new nuclear will need to include all sizes, designs, and companies, because unlike in many industries, there is no way there can only be one “winner” if we are to meet climate goals.

Recently, at global climate summit COP28, a large portion of the international community announced a joint aim to triple worldwide nuclear power generation by 2050. This is tremendous news and a huge step in the right direction for many reactor developers. It means that the work developers are doing now will lead to a market for their product for years to come. The questions we must all be asking are “How do we get there?” “Who is going to take the leap of faith to build the first-of-a-kind designs?” and “What challenges lie ahead?”

2023 in Review: October–December

January 16, 2024, 3:01PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2024, let’s look back at what happened in 2023 in the nuclear community. In today's post, compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire are what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from October through December 2023.

Stay tuned for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

2023 in Review: April–June

January 11, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2024, let’s look back at what happened in 2023 in the nuclear community. In today's post, compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire are what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from April through June 2023.

Stay tuned for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

Notes from an international workshop on spent fuel management

January 5, 2024, 9:40AMRadwaste Solutions
Some of the participants at the NEA Workshop on Extended Storage and Transportation of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste from Current and Future Reactor Technologies. (Photo: NEA)

A recent event co-organized by the Nuclear Energy Agency, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Holtec International brought together about 100 international experts for a workshop on spent fuel and radioactive waste.

Lawmakers urge federal funding for Palisades restart

December 23, 2023, 3:30PMNuclear News
Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Holtec)

A bipartisan group of nine House members is calling on the Department of Energy to give “fair, full, and swift consideration” to Holtec International’s application for DOE Loan Programs Office funding to restart the company’s Palisades nuclear plant, closed last year by the facility’s previous owner, Entergy.

Ukraine commissions first consolidated interim storage facility for spent fuel

December 20, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

A vertical cask transporter at Ukraine’s CSFSF. (Photo: Holtec)

Holtec International announced on December 19 that Energoatom, Ukraine’s national nuclear energy company, has begun transporting spent nuclear fuel from the nation’s operating reactors to its newly built and commissioned Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF). The facility is expected to save Ukraine $200 million annually through avoided payment to the Russian Federation for transport and storage to that country.

According to a December 15 report by Interfax, a total of 13 spent fuel containers have already been placed at the CSFSF, which is currently operating under a three-year trial operation permit.

Background: Located inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the CSFSF is designed for the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel from the South Ukraine, Khmelnytskyi, and Rivne nuclear power plants.

Holtec, under contract by Energoatom, completed the construction and licensing of the CSFSF in 2021. Transport of spent fuel to the facility was to begin in early 2022 but was delayed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Holtec loads 2,000th spent fuel cask at Entergy’s ANO

December 13, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

ANO dry storage campaign professionals stand before Holtec’s 2,000th storage cask. (Photo: Holtec)

Holtec International announced that it successfully loaded its 2,000th spent nuclear fuel canister this fall as part of the ongoing dry storage campaign at Entergy’s Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) power plant in Russellville, Ark.

Spent fuel from ANO’s two pressurized water reactors is stored in Holtec’s MPC-37 multipurpose canister, each containing 37 PWR fuel assemblies in a prismatic basket made of Holtec’s Metamic-HT material in an egg-crate configuration. The company’s HI-STORM dry fuel storage systems have been in use at ANO since 2003.

Quote: Entergy’s chief nuclear officer, Kimberly Cook-Nelson, said, “We appreciate the strong partnership that we at Entergy have with Holtec. Arkansas Nuclear One is an important facility for our company, the industry, the state of Arkansas, and the Russellville community, and having the 2,000th spent fuel dry storage system is a key milestone for our continued safe, secure, and reliable operations.”

NRC approves changes to Palisades’ emergency planning requirements

December 12, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Holtec Decommissioning International’s request to revise the emergency preparedness plan for the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert, Mich., to reflect the plant’s decommissioning status.

NRC approves emergency planning exemptions for defueled Indian Point

October 30, 2023, 9:52AMRadwaste Solutions
Indian Point nuclear power plant. (Photo: Daniel Case)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasgranted a request by Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI) to revise the emergency preparedness plan for the Indian Point Energy Center. Reflecting the reduced risk of a radiological emergency at a decommissioning power reactor site, the exemption removes the requirement that HDI maintain a 10-mile emergency planning zone around the plant.

Holtec files with NRC to restart Palisades

October 9, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

Holtec International has taken another step on the arduous stairway to Palisades resurrection, announcing last Friday that it has filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to “formally begin the process of seeking federal reauthorization of power operations” at the Covert Township, Mich., facility.

U.K. picks six to advance in SMR competition

October 4, 2023, 12:08PMNuclear News

The U.K. government has chosen six companies to participate in the next stage of its small modular reactor competition: EDF, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Holtec Britain Limited, NuScale Power, Rolls-Royce SMR (the only real home team), and Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited. According to the government’s October 2 announcement, the advanced technologies offered by these firms are “the most able to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s.”

Holtec, Wolverine ink power purchase agreement for Palisades

September 12, 2023, 3:27PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant.

Holtec International’s ongoing effort to repower Michigan’s closed Palisades nuclear plant made progress this week with the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the firm’s Holtec Palisades Energy LLC subsidiary and Wolverine Power Cooperative, a not-for-profit energy provider to the rural communities across Michigan.