RIPB safety case for TerraPower’s MCRE

February 13, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

Last month at the American Nuclear Society’s Risk-informed, Performance-based Principles and Policy Committee’s (RP3C’s) Community of Practice (CoP), Brandon Chisholm presented “Development of a Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Safety Case for TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE).” RP3C holds a CoP on the last Friday of the month from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ET), and participation is open to all professionals interested in RIPB principles and practices. Chisholm’s January 26 presentation is available to stream on YouTube.

ARCSC holds second workshop

February 6, 2024, 12:00PMANS News

The Advanced Reactor Codes and Standards Collaborative (ARCSC) held its second workshop on November 30, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The hybrid event had just over 200 participants, including representatives from standards development organizations (SDOs), the Electric Power Research Institute, the Nuclear Energy Institute, national laboratories, government agencies, vendors, advanced reactor designers, and consultants. Also in attendance were representatives from other U.S. industry and international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency. ANS Standards Board chair Andrew Sowder, senior technical executive at EPRI, welcomed attendees to EPRI’s offices, where the workshop was held.

ARCSC holds second workshop

January 2, 2024, 7:00AMANS News

The Advanced Reactor Codes and Standards Collaborative (ARCSC) held its second workshop on November 30, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The hybrid event had just over 200 participants, including representatives from standards development organizations (SDOs), the Electric Power Research Institute, the Nuclear Energy Institute, national laboratories, government agencies, vendors, advanced reactor designers, and consultants as well as representatives from other U.S. industry and international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency. ANS Standards Board chair Andrew Sowder, senior technical executive at EPRI, welcomed attendees to EPRI’s offices, where the workshop was held.

Sharing D&D Knowledge in a Competitive Market

October 27, 2023, 3:13PMRadwaste SolutionsTim Gregoire
Vermont Yankee’s segmented reactor vessel head is lowered into a custom-built package for transportation and disposal. (Photo: Orano)

Currently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is overseeing 17 nuclear power plants that are undergoing active decommissioning. For 10 of those plants, the NRC licenses have been transferred, either through sale or temporary transfer, from the plant owner and operator to a third party, nonutility company for decommissioning. To be profitable, those companies are decommissioning the nuclear plants as expediently as they safely can, while still protecting workers and the environment, using proprietary techniques and processes.

Implementation of advanced PRIME fuel features

October 17, 2023, 9:42AMNuclear NewsVictoria Fitz, Bradley Balltrip, Matthew Leonard, Matthew Lynch, and Raymond Flanery

Operating costs for nuclear units have grown significantly since the start of the commercial nuclear power industry. For nuclear power generation to remain competitive, process efficiencies and innovations will need to be introduced. The challenge for any change is to improve the safe operation of the nuclear unit. An area of opportunity to reduce operating costs while improving operational safety is through upgraded fuel design and manufacturing. At Southern Nuclear, the pressurized water reactor fuel engineering team worked with Westinghouse to implement the PRIME fuel features, where simple improvements would yield safer operation and long-term cost-savings due to a more robust fuel design. Implementing the PRIME fuel ensures that the operator’s burden from fuel performance is minimized while keeping the reactor unit in a safe operating condition.

NN Asks: How are universities approaching nuclear workforce issues?

August 29, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear NewsJohn Mobley IV

John Mobley IV

With the release of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Advanced Nuclear report this past March, there have been considerable discussions as to the multifaceted roles and responsibilities of universities in this epoch of renewed interest in nuclear energy. In particular, the imperative of securing an estimated 375,000 additional individuals for the construction and operation of 200 gigawatts of advanced nuclear reactors by 2050 is a significant endeavor that is front of mind for educational practitioners and policymakers. An understanding that the challenges in meeting the projected workforce needs of the nuclear community rely on dynamic, responsive, and innovative solutions thus is contingent on enhanced recruitment, retention, and development. To this point, a threefold approach of (1) IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility) initiatives, (2) AGI (academia-government-industry) partnerships, and (3) gap analysis offers a promising avenue for addressing these issues.

Modernization of the existing fleet: Gaining speed!

July 7, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear NewsRobert Austin
Chubu Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear power plant. (Photo: Chubu Electric)

“It is critical after the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station restart that we reduce our cost and increase our capacity factor while becoming more economically competitive.” Ichiro Ihara, chief nuclear officer of Chubu Electric Power, made this observation recently when the Electric Power Research Institute visited the Japanese nuclear power plant for a strategy development session for plant modernization. EPRI’s team of five specialists spent four days at Hamaoka to investigate the feasibility of potential improvements—the third step of the EPRI modernization strategy planning process. It was a trip six months in the making—and the first time EPRI has applied its nuclear plant modernization process outside the United States.

ANS Annual Meeting: Promoting the common defense and security

June 23, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear News
ANS immediate past president Steven Arndt, Jeffrey Merrifield, and John Kotek on stage at the ANS annual meeting President's Plenary.

At the 2023 ANS Annual Meeting, Steven Arndt (as of the close of the meeting, ANS immediate past president) led a president’s session on the mission of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission—a not particularly surprising topic, given that he spent over 30 years at the agency in various roles.

ANS Annual Meeting: The State of Nuclear

June 22, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
Craig Piercy (left) discusses “The State of Nuclear” with panelists (sitting left to right) Brad Williams, Todd Abrajano, and John Kotek, as well as Amy Roma and Jackie Siebens, who participated via video feed.

The “The State of Nuclear” panel discussion on June 13 at the 2023 American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting focused on how geopolitical issues are affecting federal, state, and international laws, regulations, and funding regarding nuclear technology. The discussion was chaired by ANS Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy.

NEI's Benton Arnett: On the nuclear benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act

June 16, 2023, 3:02PMNuclear News

It has been said that the nuclear provisions in the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act are strong enough to be stand-alone bills. The IRA contains various tax incentives for nuclear, to the point where it seems that few in Congress are questioning the importance of nuclear energy to the nation’s power grid and climate goals.

ANS annual meeting: “Failure is not an option”

June 12, 2023, 3:37PMANS News

Arndt

The American Nuclear Society’s annual meeting opened on Sunday, June 11, in Indianapolis, Ind., and will run through June 14. The meeting’s theme is “Failure Is Not an Option.”

ANS president Steven Arndt, who ends his yearlong term at the meeting’s end, addressed the audience at the opening plenary on Monday, June 12, noting that nuclear science and technology’s road has been long, but it is up to ANS members and other advocates to push forward the nuclear enterprise’s momentum for a sustainable future.

Before announcing ANS chief executive officer and executive director Craig Piercy to the stage, Arndt thanked the volunteer members, meeting sponsors, and ANS staff, among others, for making ANS meetings happen.

Battelle’s Mark Peters honored with Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman award

May 30, 2023, 9:30AMANS News
ANS Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy presented Mark Peters with the Henry DeWolf Smyth Award at NEI’s Nuclear Energy Assembly.

At the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Nuclear Energy Assembly, held this year in Washington, D.C., the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award was presented on May 17 to Mark Peters, Battelle’s executive vice president for national laboratory management and operations.

Two reports sound alarm on supply chain deployment risks—for fission and fusion

May 19, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Reports released this week point to a clean energy future fueled by atomic energy—if and when pressing supply chain issues can be resolved. Advanced Reactor Roadmap, Phase 1: North America, released on May 15 by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Nuclear Energy Institute, takes a broad look at the deployment of advanced fission reactors and identifies supply chain ramp-up as one key enabler. The Fusion Industry Supply Chain: Opportunities and Challenges, released by the Fusion Industry Association on May 17, focuses on fusion energy supply chain issues.

ANS panel discussion recaps CONTE 2023 presentations

March 16, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

For those who missed the recent Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2023), which was held on February 6–9 in Amelia Island, Fla., ANS hosted on March 9 an online panel discussion recapping selected highlights. The conference had the theme of “Maintaining Excellence Today—Building the Nuclear Workforce for Tomorrow!”

Four panelists summarized their CONTE presentations in the online discussion: Annaliese Piraino, instructional technologist at Energy Harbor’s Beaver Valley nuclear power plant; Sterling Parmenter, senior maintenance and technical instructor at Constellation Energy’s Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant; Lori Brady, senior director of human resources and training and development at the Nuclear Energy Institute; and David Helling, senior training advisor at Westinghouse Electric Company. The online event was moderated by Billy Wilson, senior engineer in nuclear training at Ontario Power Generation.

For more info on the CONTE meeting, visit CONTE 2023. Also available online is the recap webinar.

Social media “takeover” helps OSU cover IAEA Nuclear Power Ministerial

February 10, 2023, 11:59AMNuclear News
The student social media ambassadors at the IAEA Nuclear Power Ministerial in October 2022 (left to right): Sam Dotson from the University of Illinois, Madison Gitzen from Pennsylvania State University, Peter Hotvedt from the University of Michigan, Jillian Newmyer from Oregon State University, Brienna Johnson from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Pearle Lipinski from Ohio State University.

Pearle Lipinski is a nuclear engineering Ph.D. student in Ohio State University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE). In October 2022, at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s fifth International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century (also known as the Nuclear Power Ministerial, or NPM), she acted as a student social media ambassador, where she was a “huge success in getting the word out,” according to Lei Raymond Cao, director of the OSU nuclear engineering program.

Risk insights map an efficient approach to aging management

October 28, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear NewsSusan Gallier

Any method that can enhance safety, reduce risk, and lower costs is worth a second look. When that method proves it has the potential to optimize aging management at any nuclear power plant, it’s time to spread the word.

In 2019, a small team focused on selective leaching began looking for a way to use risk insights to optimize the implementation of deterministic aging management programs (AMPs). What they started soon grew into a large team effort by Constellation, Ameren, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), along with contractors Enercon and Jensen Hughes, to develop a generic framework and then test it in two very different pilot applications.

“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”

September 7, 2022, 7:01AMNuclear NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy
cpiercy@ans.org

Everyone knows the iconic scene in the classic 1975 movie Jaws when Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, is chumming the waters off the coast of Cape Cod and finds himself face-to-face with a 25-foot great white shark for the first time. As you will remember, the scene cuts to Brody shuffling into the boat’s cabin, turning to Quint—the salty captain played by Robert Shaw—and saying rather dryly, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

That image, of someone confronting the true scope of their challenge, is the thing that kept creeping into my mind as I walked the expo floor of the 2022 Utility Working Conference held on Marco Island, Fla., last month.

Yes, the excitement was palpable. The Inflation Reduction Act was cruising toward enactment with $30–40 billion in new nuclear-eligible clean energy tax incentives in its berth. Dow had just announced its intention to partner with X-energy to site a high-temperature gas reactor at one of its Gulf Coast manufacturing facilities.

Groups prod G7 to support nuclear for climate, security

June 27, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News

A group of six organizations have issued a statement to world leaders currently gathered at the G7 summit in Germany that highlights nuclear energy’s strengths in addressing the current global challenges of environmental sustainability and energy security and urges additional support.

ANS webinar looked at building domestic HALEU production capacity

March 16, 2022, 12:00PMANS News

The United States must ramp up the domestic production of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), the panelists agreed during a March 11 members-only webinar held amid heightened concerns about energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the day after Congress approved $45 million for the HALEU Availability Program for fiscal year 2022.

John Starkey, ANS director of public policy, moderated the webinar, which featured panelists Scott Kopple, senior director of government relations at BWX Technologies; Everett Redmond, senior technical advisor at the Nuclear Energy Institute; Benjamin Reinke, senior director of corporate strategy and advisor to the CEO at X-energy; Patrick White, project manager at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA); and Brad Williams, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff.

A recording of the webinar is available to ANS members.

ANS presents members-only event on HALEU and nuclear energy’s future

March 8, 2022, 12:00PMANS News

ANS is hosting an expert panel for the members-only virtual event, “High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium: Fueling Nuclear Energy’s Future,” on Friday, March 11, from 10 to 11 a.m. (EST).

Register now for the event. Can't attend live? Register to receive a link to the recording.