D.C. court dismisses challenge to NRC’s low-level waste policy

May 7, 2021, 12:06PMRadwaste Solutions

A federal court has dismissed a claim by the Nuclear Energy Institute that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had reversed decades of established policy by requiring owners and operators of nuclear power plants to obtain the agency’s approval to dispose of low-level radioactive waste, even in NRC Agreement States.

At issue was a letter the NRC sent to NEI in 2019, stating that licensees must receive agency approval before disposing of LLW. In response, NEI filed a lawsuit against the NRC, claiming that the letter imposes new obligations on licensees without the NRC’s having followed rulemaking procedures required by the Administrative Procedure Act, including publishing notice of the new policy and receiving input from stakeholders prior to implementation.

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Granholm urged to form nuclear waste management office within DOE

May 5, 2021, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

Granholm

The American Nuclear Society joined seven other prominent nuclear organizations in submitting a letter to energy secretary Jennifer Granholm requesting that the Department of Energy establish an office dedicated to developing and managing an integrated nuclear waste storage, transportation, and disposal program. The letter asks that the new office report directly to the energy secretary.

Specifically, the office would do the following:

  • Provide a focal point for work on spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
  • Facilitate necessary engagement with external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate an intent and commitment to take meaningful action.

Prospects for nuclear in 2021 looking up, says NEI

February 2, 2021, 3:01PMNuclear News

Korsnick

Nuclear Energy Institute president and chief executive officer Maria Korsnick struck a decidedly optimistic tone last week in remarks on nuclear’s future delivered at the United States Energy Association’s 17th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.

"In 2020, nuclear energy was highlighted in both House and Senate climate reports," she noted. "Congress significantly increased appropriations to accelerate research and development of new nuclear technologies. And we’ve seen the introduction of bipartisan legislation that recognizes nuclear’s contributions to today’s economy and our clean energy future.”

NEI to help regenerate Romania’s nuclear sector

October 21, 2020, 12:00PMNuclear News

Chirica

The Nuclear Energy Institute and the Romanian Atomic Forum (Romatom) have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in civil applications of nuclear energy, according to Romatom on October 14.

The MOU was signed less than a week after the United States and Romania initialed a draft intergovernmental agreement for cooperation on the construction of two additional reactors at Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant and the refurbishment of Unit 1. Cernavoda currently houses two operating reactors—Units 1 and 2, twin 650-MWe CANDU-6 pressurized heavy-water reactors.

Maria Korsnick, NEI’s president and chief executive officer, and Teodor Chirica, Romatom’s honorary president, signed the MOU during a webinar on investment opportunities and the capabilities of the U.S. and Romanian nuclear industries. Also in attendance were Tommy Joyce, the U.S. Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for global energy security and multilateral engagement, and Dan Dragan, secretary of state in the Romanian Ministry of Energy, Economy, and Business Environment.

More voices come to the defense of Ohio’s H.B. 6 policy

September 8, 2020, 12:06PMNuclear News

Despite high-profile calls to repeal the scandal-tainted Ohio Clean Air Program Act (H.B. 6) and recent legislation crafted toward that end in both the Ohio House and Senate (66 of 99 House members have reportedly co-sponsored Democratic or Republican bills to repeal H.B. 6), the policy behind the measure continues to garner support.

As reported here on August 26, the six commissioners from Ohio’s Lake and Ottawa counties—home to Davis-Besse and Perry, the two nuclear plants saved from early closure by H.B. 6—have made clear their opposition to an immediate repeal of the act.

Duke companies include advanced nuclear in plans to speed carbon reduction

September 4, 2020, 9:38AMNuclear News

Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas have filed their 2020 Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) with state regulators, parent company Duke Energy announced September 1.

The plans outline a range of options to achieve varying levels of carbon reduction, including, for the first time, potential pathways to achieve up to 70 percent carbon-emission reduction through policy and technology advancements.

Aggressive carbon-reduction targets are attainable, the company said, with investments in solar, wind, and energy storage, as well as with advanced nuclear, offshore wind, and other technologies “as they become available.” (Last September, Duke Energy declared its intention to seek subsequent license renewal for the 11 reactors it operates in six nuclear plants in the Carolinas [NN, Oct. 2019, p. 9].)

UWC 2020: A call for transformational change

August 12, 2020, 6:25PMNuclear News

Bowing to current COVID-19 realities but buoyed by the success of June’s virtual Annual Meeting, ANS event planners returned to the virtual realm for this year’s Utility Working Conference. Originally scheduled for August 9–12 at Marco Island, Fla., the condensed event was held Wednesday, August 11, wherever registrants’ computer devices happened to be located.

In addition to 26 educational sessions and workshops, UWC 2020 featured an opening plenary session titled “Achieving Transformational Change: A leadership discussion,” moderated by Bob Coward, MPR Associates principal officer and ANS past president (2017–2018). Plenary panelists included representatives from three utilities—Arizona Public Service (APS), Exelon, and Xcel Energy—plus the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In addition to coverage of the opening plenary further below, Newswire also covered other UWC sessions from the day, which are available for reading here:

  • More from UWC 2020 Click here
  • More from UWC 2020: Round 2 Click here
  • More from UWC 2020: Round 3 Click here

The opening plenary coverage starts directly below:

DFC drops prohibition on nuclear project financing

July 28, 2020, 7:02AMNuclear News

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has lifted its ban on financing nuclear power projects abroad. Last month, the DFC proposed the change to its Environmental and Social Policy and Procedures, which had specifically prohibited it from offering such support.

The change, announced by the DFC on July 23, also implements a key recommendation made in an April 2020 report issued by the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Working Group, an interagency initiative to review and modernize U.S. nuclear energy policy.

Palo Verde takes home 2020’s top TIP

July 20, 2020, 7:01AMNuclear News

A team from Arizona Public Service’s (APS) Palo Verde nuclear plant, in Wintersburg, Ariz., has won the Nuclear Energy Institute’s “Best of the Best” Top Innovative Practice (TIP) Award for developing in-house software applications that use machine learning to automate such time-consuming tasks as screening reports or searching maintenance logs. The award was announced July 9 during NEI’s first-ever virtual TIP Awards presentation.

Dems’ climate action plan makes room for nuclear

July 2, 2020, 9:28AMNuclear News

House Democrats on June 30 rolled out a vision of what U.S. climate change policy might look like in the event the Democratic party holds its current House majority, retakes the Senate, and wins the White House in November. The vision was presented in the form of a sweeping 547-page majority staff report entitled Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.

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NEI holds virtual event on future of nuclear industry

June 26, 2020, 9:00AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Energy Institute on June 24 hosted The State of the Nuclear Energy Industry 2020, a three-segment webinar featuring remarks from Maria Korsnick, president and chief executive officer of NEI; an interview with Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), conducted by Jason Grumet, founder and president of the Bipartisan Policy Center; and a panel discussion moderated by Rich Powell, executive director of ClearPath.

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Utilities Service Alliance’s Material Cost Reduction project

June 17, 2020, 9:31AMNuclear NewsBrad Vickery

The Utilities Service Alliance’s organizational banners.

The Utilities Service Alliance (USA) was founded in 1996. Current membership stretches from coast-to-coast and includes eight utilities and nine nuclear stations: Energy Northwest, Columbia; Luminant, Comanche Peak; Indiana Michigan Power Company, Cook; Nebraska Public Power District, Cooper; DTE Energy, Fermi; Xcel Energy, Monticello and Prairie Island; STP Nuclear Operating Company, South Texas Project; and Talen Energy, Susquehanna. These plants represent 14 reactors (six boiling water reactors and eight pressurized water reactors) and more than 15,000 MWe of generation.

The USA Material Cost Reduction (MCR) project kicked off in January 2017. The Nuclear Energy Institute’s Delivering the Nuclear Promise initiative was in full swing as the utilities’ chief nuclear officers created multiple focus areas for cost reductions at the plants.

President’s Session: U.S global leadership in nuclear energy and national security

June 9, 2020, 10:33PMNuclear News

The President’s Special Session of the 2020 American Nuclear Society Virtual Annual Meeting, organized by ANS’s Young Members Group (YMG) and Student Sections Committee (SSC), featured an all-star group of nuclear policy luminaries opining on the current influence of nuclear technology on U.S. national security and where the nation stands with regard to leadership of the future global nuclear industry.

ANS members re-elected to NEI board of directors

May 26, 2020, 1:56PMANS News

American Nuclear Society members Mark T. Peters, Kenneth W. Robuck, and Thomas R. White were reelected to the Nuclear Energy Institute’s board of directors during its May 20 meeting. The board is composed of executives from companies that hold licenses to operate nuclear energy facilities and selected representatives of other organizations involved in commercial nuclear technologies. Members of the executive committee and the board’s non-utility members typically serve three-year terms, and officers are elected annually.