The Civil Nuclear Credit Program: An overview

June 2, 2023, 3:07PMNuclear NewsMichael McQueen

Officially established on November 15, 2021, with the signing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—aka the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL—the Department of Energy’s Civil Nuclear Credit Program was designed to give owners/operators of commercial U.S. reactors the opportunity to apply for certification and competitively bid on credits to help support the continued operation of economically troubled units. Finally, the federal government, and not just certain farsighted state governments, would recognize nuclear energy for its important grid reliability and decarbonization attributes.

Holtec receives license for consolidated spent fuel storage site in New Mexico

May 11, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
A rendering of Holtec’s proposed HI-STORE CISF in New Mexico. (Image: Holtec)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to Holtec International to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico. Holtec is proposing building the facility, called the HI-STORE CISF, between the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs in Lea County on land provided by the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA).

Holtec deepens relationship with South Korea for SMR deployment

May 4, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News
From left: Hyundai E&C president and CEO Young-joon Yoon, Holtec president and CEO Kris Singh, South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy Chang-yang Lee, and K-Sure president and chairman Inho Lee. (Photo: Holtec)

Two South Korean financial institutions—the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)—have signed pacts with Holtec International and Hyundai Engineering & Construction (a Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary) to provide support to Holtec’s SMR-160 projects around the world, the American firm announced on May 2.

Holtec inks agreement for up to 20 SMRs in Ukraine

April 25, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
Kris Singh (front left), Holtec International president and chief executive officer, signs the cooperation agreement between Holtec and Ukraine’s Energoatom, alongside other Holtec officials. (Photo: Holtec)

Small modular reactor developer Holtec International and Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear plant operator, signed a cooperation agreement last Friday that envisions the construction of up to 20 of the American firm’s SMR-160 units in Ukraine, with grid connection for the pilot project achieved by March 2029. In addition, the agreement calls for building a Ukrainian manufacturing facility to localize the production of equipment required for SMR-160 construction.

Holtec seeking state aid for Palisades restart

April 17, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Palisades nuclear power plant may have entered retirement, but it’s not dead yet. Plant owner Holtec International is continuing with its unprecedented effort to restart the Covert, Mich., single-unit facility, shuttered 11 months ago by previous owner Entergy.

First used fuel moved to dry storage at Slovenia’s Krško plant

April 6, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The dry fuel storage building at the Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia. (Photo: Holtec)

The first cask of used nuclear fuel was moved to dry storage at the Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia on April 2, officially marking the storage facility’s commissioning, announced Holtec International, which is conducting the fuel transfer campaign.

According to Holtec, the current fuel loading campaign will consist of a total of 16 of the company’s HI-STORM FW casks being placed in dry storage.

The facility: Plant operator Nuklearna elektrarna Krško (NEK) received the operating license for the dry storage facility, the plant’s first, from the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration last October. The Krško facility was built under the management of Holtec’s Civil Design and Construction Department with the assistance of local supply chains, primarily consisting of Slovenian, Croatian, and Italian companies.

NRC pushes decision on Holtec CISF to May

March 23, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has delayed issuing a decision on the licensing of Holtec International’s proposed consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) in New Mexico for at least two more months. In a letter sent to Holtec on March 20, the NRC said the delay was “due to unforeseen resource constraints.”

New Mexico sets up roadblock to Holtec storage facility

March 21, 2023, 9:43AMRadwaste Solutions
A rendering of Holtec’s proposed HI-STORE CISF in New Mexico. (Image: Holtec)

New Mexico has passed legislation aimed at preventing Holtec International from constructing and operating a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in the state. On March 17, hours after being passed by the New Mexico House on a 35-28 vote, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed SB 53, which prohibits the storage and disposal of radioactive waste in New Mexico without the state’s consent.

DOE guidance for nuclear credit program’s second award cycle released

March 3, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy has announced the release of application guidance for the second award cycle of its $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program.

Part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—the $1.2 trillion bipartisan measure signed by President Biden in November 2021—the CNC Program was established to prevent the premature retirement of economically challenged nuclear power plants in recognition of the crucial role the Biden administration sees nuclear playing in achieving its ambitious decarbonization goals, including 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.

Vital component delivered to NSTX-U fusion facility

February 13, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
The center stack casing staged horizontally at Holtec’s manufacturing division in East Pittsburgh. (Photo: Holtec)

A key component needed for the National Spherical Torus Experiment–Upgrade (NSTX-U), the flagship fusion facility currently under repair at the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been delivered to the lab’s New Jersey campus.

Looking back at 2022—July through September

January 5, 2023, 12:12PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2023, let’s look back at what happened in 2022 for the American Nuclear Society and the nuclear community. In today's post that follows, we have compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from July through September 2022.

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

But first:

Holtec, GEH eye U.K. for SMR deployment

January 5, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear News
A rendering of Holtec’s SMR-160 plant. (Image: Holtec International)

Small modular reactor developers Holtec International and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) are both looking to the United Kingdom as a prime location for deployment of their units—the SMR-160 and BWRX-300, respectively.

On December 19, Holtec Britain announced that it is poised to enter the United Kingdom’s generic design assessment (GDA) process for the SMR-160 early in 2023, enabling the start of construction of the first U.K. unit as soon as 2028. (The GDA, developed by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency, gauges the safety, security, and environmental protection aspects of a nuclear plant design. Successfully completing the assessment culminates in a design acceptance confirmation from ONR and a statement of design acceptability from the Environment Agency.)

Holtec to reapply for federal funding to revive Palisades

December 21, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

Holtec International is apparently not ready to give up on the Palisades nuclear power plant just yet. Despite having been denied federal funds last month for a possible reopening of the Covert, Mich., facility, the company this week announced its intention to reapply.

Diablo Canyon approved for federal funding; Palisades denied

November 22, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant, in Michigan, before it was permanently closed. (Photo: Holtec)

Pacific Gas & Electric’s two-unit Diablo Canyon plant—California’s lone operating nuclear power facility—has been deemed eligible for the initial round of funding from the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program, the Department of Energy announced yesterday.

The decision was welcomed by a nuclear community disappointed by last Friday’s news that the DOE had rejected Holtec International’s CNC application for the recently closed Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan, despite support for the effort from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Holtec, Hyundai launch accelerated program to complete SMR plant design

October 24, 2022, 9:16AMNuclear News
Kris Singh (left), president and CEO of Holtec International, and Young-Joon Yoon, president and CEO of Hyundai E&C. (Photo: Holtec International)

Holtec International and Hyundai Engineering & Construction (a Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary) have signed an accord to accelerate the completion of Holtec’s SMR-160 small modular reactor development program, as well as to collaborate on diverse clean energy technologies.

OPG, ČEZ to work together on SMR deployment

October 14, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
From left: Czech Republic deputy minister of industry and trade Petr Třešňák, ČEZ’s Tomáš Pleskač, OPG’s Ken Hartwick, Ontario minister of energy Todd Smith, and Canadian ambassador to the Czech Republic Ayesha Patricia Rekhi. (Photo: CNW Group/Ontario Power Generation)

Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Czech Republic–based ČEZ have agreed to collaborate on nuclear technology deployment, including small modular reactors, under a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday in Prague.

Ontario’s largest electricity generator and the European energy giant have both pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Holtec to provide spent fuel canisters to six Spanish reactors

September 21, 2022, 3:14PMRadwaste Solutions
Spain’s nuclear power plants are to use Holtec’s HI-STORM spent fuel storage technology. (Image: Holtec)

Holtec International announced that its flagship HI-STORM Multi-Purpose Canister (MPC) spent fuel storage technology was selected by Spain’s national company Enresa for a fleet of six nuclear power reactors at four plant sites in the country. Equipos Nucleares S.A. (ENSA), a Cantabria-based manufacturer of equipment for the Spanish nuclear fleet, was named a consortium partner with Holtec in the order, which was conducted under European Union procurement rules.

Michigan pledges support for Holtec plan to reopen Palisades

September 13, 2022, 7:02AMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

Maybe hold off commenting on those Palisades decommissioning plans for now: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last Friday penned a letter to energy secretary Jennifer Granholm pledging state support for a Holtec International plan to restart the recently shuttered Palisades nuclear plant in Covert, Mich. It was Whitmer’s second letter to the Department of Energy head expressing support for Palisades and touting its value to the state.

NRC opens Palisades’ decommissioning plans to public comment

September 12, 2022, 7:09AMRadwaste Solutions
The Palisades nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made Holtec International’s post-shutdown decommissioning activities report (PSDAR) for the closed Palisades nuclear power plant available for public comment until December 27. The NRC also plans to hold a public meeting to discuss the report on the evening of September 22 at the South Haven campus of Lake Michigan College, about 10 miles north of the Palisades site in Covert, Mich.

Twice-extended Civil Nuclear Credit deadline now one week away: Who will apply?

August 30, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The deadline for first-round applications to the Department of Energy’s Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program is September 6. While the program’s goal has never shifted from providing support to nuclear power plants facing closure for economic reasons so that they can continue generating clean power, the deadline and the first-round eligibility criteria have changed. The program was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with a sizable, yet finite, fund of $6 billion. Those applying in the first round will get the first—and possibly the best—crack at a share of the funds.