Kyoto Fusioneering and CNL form fusion development joint venture

May 24, 2024, 6:53AMNuclear News
FFC board members (from left to right) Kiyoshi Seko (KF), Stephen Bushby (CNL), Satoshi Konishi (KF), and Ian Castillo (CNL) in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan’s Kyoto Fusioneering, a fusion startup spun out from Kyoto University, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories have announced the formation of Fusion Fuel Cycles Inc., headquartered in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. The joint venture extends a strategic alliance formed between the two entities in September 2023 and aims to develop and deploy deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion fuel cycle technologies.

Release of Fukushima’s treated water going as planned, IAEA says

April 30, 2024, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
Data from Fukushima ALPS-treated water discharge. (Image: IAEA)

An International Atomic Energy Agency task force has confirmed that the discharge of treated water from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is progressing in accordance with the plan approved by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority.

U.S., Japan near end of HEU-to-LEU transition, plan expanded fusion partnership

April 17, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
U.S. deputy secretary of energy David M. Turk (left) and Japan’s minister of education, sports, science, and technology Masahito Moriyama, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: DOE)

During a state visit to the White House by Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida on April 10, the Department of Energy announced that U.S. and Japanese agencies had cooperated to remove all high-enriched uranium (HEU) from the Japan Materials Testing Reactor Critical Assembly (JMTRC) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) two years ahead of schedule.

IAEA: released Fukushima water below operational limits

March 6, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
An IAEA task force visited Fukushima in October 2023 to review the safety of TEPCO’s discharge of ALPS-treated water. (Photo: TEPCO)

International Atomic Energy Agency experts have confirmed that the tritium concentration in the fourth batch of treated water released from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is far below the country’s operational limit.

Japan-U.S. decommissioning workshop coming up

January 19, 2024, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Japan-U.S. Decommissioning Workshop Series continues on February 8–9 when its second forum meets to discuss the handling of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) generated during the decommissioning process and how improved LLW management can reduce risk.

Registration for the online event is required. The registration deadline is 2:00 a.m. (EST) on February 5.

COP28 is the backdrop for new fuel commitments from the U.S. and allies

December 12, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News

Leaders of five nations that collectively represent 50 percent of the world’s uranium conversion and enrichment capacity—the United States, Canada, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom—are making a habit of meeting on the sidelines of global climate talks to pledge their commitment to securing the nuclear fuel supply chain. On December 7 at the Net Zero Nuclear Summit—an event held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP28—representatives of those nations announced plans to “mobilize at least $4.2 billion” in government and private investment in enrichment and conversion capacity. The commitment expands on an initial civil nuclear fuel security agreement that the so-called Sapporo 5 reached in April 2023, when they met (as now, on the sidelines) during a G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy, and Environment in Sapporo, Japan.

What’s happening in big fusion? A global update

December 5, 2023, 9:35AMNuclear News

One year ago today, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a record shot at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) that set the world talking about the potential of fusion energy. And the buzz hasn’t stopped. Fusion energy is getting its most significant attention yet on the world stage at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, where John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, delivered a keynote address today titled “An inclusive fusion energy future,” followed by a panel discussion.

The safe plan for Japan’s wastewater

November 7, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear NewsKen Petersen

Ken Petersen

There has been a lot of breathless coverage surrounding the release of mildly tritiated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi site, generated in no small part by people, organizations, and even nations with a political axe to grind. But here are the facts:

On August 24, 2023, Fukushima Daiichi began its first release of tritium-containing water, following the Japanese government’s plans to meet all international guidelines. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has established a permanent office at the plant, provided on-site observation, online monitoring, and an independent analysis of the release. (The IAEA will continue to do so for all future releases.) Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that analyses of water samples taken from the sea within three kilometers of the plant showed tritium concentrations below 10 becquerels per liter, well below the 700 becquerels per liter set by the utility for suspending the release, and substantially below the drinking water quality standard of 10,000 becquerels per liter set by the World Health Organization.

DOE delegation visits Japan for info exchange

September 1, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
DOE-EM senior advisor Ike White provided remarks to the audience during 7th International Forum on the Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. (Photo: DOE)

Senior advisor Ike White and others with the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management traveled to Japan this week to attend the 7th International Forum on the Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

American Nuclear Society supports water release at Fukushima Daiichi

August 24, 2023, 8:41AMPress Releases

Washington, D.C. – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) supports the start of Japan’s controlled release of re-treated, diluted tritium wastewater into the sea from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which sustained damage in the aftermath of a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

MHI picked to lead development of Japanese fast reactor

July 25, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News

Concept art of a tank type sodium-cooled fast reactor. (Image: MHI)

The Japanese government has chosen Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to head up the conceptual design and research and development of a demonstration sodium-cooled fast reactor, the Tokyo-based engineering firm announced recently.

MHI is to oversee the work in partnership with Mitsubishi FBR Systems Inc. (MFBR), an MHI Group engineering company established in 2007 to develop and design fast breeder reactors.

Conceptual design work is scheduled to commence in fiscal year 2024, with operation of the unit slated for the 2040s.

Reactor roadmap: According to MHI’s announcement, in the strategic roadmap for fast-reactor development adopted by the Japanese Cabinet in December 2018, a policy was defined to assess the efficacy of several types of technologies to be developed following a competition among private-sector companies. The roadmap was subsequently revised by the Cabinet in December 2022, at which time two decisions were made: (1) to select a sodium-cooled fast reactor as the target of the conceptual design of the demonstration unit and (2) to select a manufacturer to serve as the core company in charge of the reactor’s design and requisite R&D.

D&D practices in U.S. and Japan the subject of new workshop series

July 13, 2023, 7:14AMRadwaste Solutions

Tohoku University and the University of Michigan are jointly sponsoring a series of workshops focused on sharing experiences between Japan and the United States on the decontamination and decommissioning of commercial nuclear power plants.

A full agenda for the workshop can be found here.

The deadline for registration is August 1. A registration form, along with further information, can be found here.

Invested in nuclear

June 8, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear NewsSteven Arndt

Steven Arndt

This will be my last column in Nuclear News as president of the American Nuclear Society. Where has the year gone? For me and for all of us in the nuclear community it has been an exciting and productive 12 months. We have cheered the decision to extend Diablo Canyon operations, witnessed fuel loading and—hopefully by the time the June issue of NN is out—the start of commercial operations of Unit 3 at Vogtle, and seen significant strides forward in the licensing and deployment of small modular reactors. Internationally, we have watched the progress in the deployment of new units in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, as well as renewed commitment to nuclear in countries including Japan, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom. All of this has been a result of both public and private investment in and commitment to nuclear.

Recently, the Inflation Reduction Act and other government actions in the United States have provided opportunities for increased investment in nuclear energy, including production tax credits and investment tax credits.

Five G7 nations form alliance to reduce reliance on Russian nuclear fuel

April 20, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The ministers representing their respective nations as the statement on civil nuclear fuel cooperation was announced were (from left) Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of natural resources of Canada; Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s minister of economy, trade, and industry; Jennifer Granholm, U.S. energy secretary; Grant Shapps, U.K. energy security secretary; and Agnes Pannier-Runacher, French minister for energy transition.

A civil nuclear fuel security agreement between the five nuclear leaders of the G7—announced on April 16 on the sidelines of the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, Japan—establishes cooperation between Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to flatten Russia’s influence in the global nuclear fuel supply chain.

Notes from the 2023 NN Reference Section

March 21, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

This year marks the 25th year that ANS's Nuclear News magazine has published its Reference Section, which features a world list of nuclear power plants, maps showing worldwide plant locations, tables with information on U.S. plant renewals, and international data tables and graphics. What follows are interesting tidbits that Nuclear Newswire has picked up from this year's Reference Section, which was published in the March NN.

From the Reference Section
Five power reactors started commercial operations around the world in 2022 and five more closed, leaving the total number of operable nuclear power reactors in this 25th Annual Reference Section at 434, the same as the year before. What’s more, that number is just one more than the 433 power reactors listed in the 1st Annual Reference Section back in 1999. But make no mistake, plenty has changed over 25 years. Read on.

THOR puts fast reactor fuel to the test in U.S.-Japan TREAT collaboration

January 17, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
U.S. secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm and Japan’s minister of economy, trade, and industry Yasutoshi Nishimura lead energy discussions on January 9 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: DOE)

Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory have completed initial testing on a newly developed fuel test capsule that is expected to provide crucial performance data for sodium-cooled fast reactors. The Department of Energy announced on January 12 that the series of fuel testing experiments being carried out now at INL’s Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) was developed through a joint project between the United States and Japan.

Countries change nuclear policies in response to Ukraine war

January 6, 2023, 7:09AMNuclear News

As a direct result of the war in Ukraine, several countries have changed their policies on nuclear energy—even those with long-standing nuclear phase-out plans. This February will mark one year since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, leading to ongoing war and turning pandemic-era energy shortages into a global energy crisis. Spiking gas prices and concerns about electricity supply during the cold winter months have thrown many governments into a frenzy as they try to ease the impact on their citizens.

Countries in the process of phasing out their nuclear power had been prepared to increase their reliance on natural gas. But as Russia supplies 40 percent of the European Union’s natural gas, nations with no reliable alternative now face sky-high energy prices—even energy poverty. Across Europe and beyond, nuclear power plants slated for permanent closure have been given second chances to shore up energy supply. Nuclear power has also claimed a bigger spotlight in countries’ strategies for energy independence.