U.K. strategy on nuclear hydrogen released

July 22, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

A report released last week by the Nuclear Sector Deal’s Innovation Group sets out a series of recommendations for the United Kingdom to realize the opportunity of zero-carbon hydrogen derived from nuclear energy.

“Sector deals,” according to the British government, are partnerships between industry and government on sector-specific issues to create opportunities to boost productivity, employment, innovation, and skills. The Nuclear Sector Deal, launched in June 2018, was developed by the Nuclear Industry Council.

PSEG quickens pace to net zero

June 29, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Hope Creek nuclear power plant

New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group has announced its intention to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, shaving two decades off its previously announced target date of 2050. PSEG is owner of the Hope Creek nuclear plant and is co-owner, with Exelon, of the Salem plant.

Feasibility study for nuclear hydrogen under way in Canada

June 24, 2021, 3:05PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) has launched a study on the role of nuclear power in supporting a growing hydrogen economy. The study will be the first of its kind in Canada to evaluate the technical viability and business case for hydrogen production from nuclear power, according to NII, an Ontario, Canada–based nonprofit formed in 2018 to accelerate innovation in the nuclear industry.

2021 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting: CEO roundtable

June 18, 2021, 9:37AMNuclear News

The 2021 ANS Annual Meeting brought together three leading chief executive officers from the nuclear industry on June 16 for a discussion centered on the future role of nuclear energy deployment and the challenges of portfolio management during a time of net-zero carbon goals.

2021 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting: President’s Special Session

June 16, 2021, 3:43PMNuclear News

The current orthodoxy on climate change—that it is an existential threat to global civilization—was challenged on June 15 during the 2021 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting's President’s Special Session, which featured two prominent dissenters from that view, Michael Shellenberger and Mark P. Mills.

WNA calls for all-hazards approach to nuclear power

June 1, 2021, 9:29AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The World Nuclear Association has issued a white paper advising the world’s policymakers and regulators to adopt a science-based, all-hazards risk assessment and management system that holistically evaluates the contributions of different energy sources and sets a level playing field.

The paper, Recalibrating Risk: Putting Nuclear Risk in Context and Perspective, states that disproportionately focusing on the risks posed by radiation can result in the acceptance of other, more significant risks. For example, the WNA says, while air pollution from heavy fossil fuel use worldwide has caused the early demise of millions, severely damaged the environment, and exacerbated climate change, nuclear power is routinely ostracized and its substantial contributions to global decarbonization disregarded.

U.K. nuclear joins renewables to press for grid decarbonization

June 1, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

Three United Kingdom organizations—the Nuclear Industry Association, RenewableUK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association), and Solar Energy UK—are calling for urgent action to build new nuclear, wind, and solar capacity and for a binding target of 100 percent grid decarbonization by 2035.

The United Kingdom was the first of the world’s major economies to embrace a legal obligation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

More encouraging words on nuclear from Biden climate advisor

May 24, 2021, 3:14PMANS Nuclear Cafe

McCarthy

Despite the discordant, antinuclear note struck by President Biden’s environmental justice panel in a recent report, other administration officials continue to signal support for nuclear energy.

In an interview with the Washington Post last week touting the president’s American Jobs Plan, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy reiterated her belief that nuclear energy is key to the administration’s stated goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Pathway to net zero by 2050 “narrow” and “challenging,” says IEA

May 19, 2021, 2:59PMNuclear News

A highly anticipated report released yesterday by the International Energy Agency on how to transition the world to a net-zero energy system by 2050 calls for “nothing less than a complete transformation of how we produce, transport, and consume energy.” At the same time, the report, Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, characterizes its preferred road to net zero as the one “most technically feasible, cost-effective, and socially acceptable.”

That road, while relying primarily on renewable energy, keeps a lane open for nuclear, which, the report says, will make a “significant contribution” and “provide an essential foundation for transitions.”

Global industry to policymakers: Net zero needs nuclear

May 17, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

Achieving global carbon neutrality by 2050—a pledge made by well over 100 countries so far, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—will require investment in new nuclear capacity and the retention of existing nuclear generation, states an open letter released last Friday by the leaders of six prominent nuclear industry organizations.

Gorman

Desbazeille

Arai

Korsnick

Greatrex

Bilbao y Leon

The letter was signed by John Gorman, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Nuclear Association; Yves Desbazeille, director general of FORATOM; Shiro Arai, president of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum; Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute; John Greatrex, chief executive of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Industry Association; and Sama Bilbao y León, director general of the World Nuclear Association.

EDF and U.K.’s Nuclear AMRC step up partnership

May 14, 2021, 12:07PMNuclear News
“Big Carl,” the world’s largest land-based crane, lifts the second of three prefabricated steel rings that will form the reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C from its bunker to a lay-down area in late April. (Photo: EDF)

EDF has signed a new membership agreement with the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to drive innovation in low-carbon power generation and support U.K. manufacturers, the University of Sheffield–based center announced recently.

Federal subsidies for nuclear plants?

May 5, 2021, 3:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Biden administration has indicated to lawmakers that it supports federal subsidies for struggling nuclear power plants, Reuters reported this morning, citing sources familiar with the discussions.

The subsidies would be in the form of production tax credits, according to the report, and would likely become part of the president’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

Closing Indian Point makes N.Y.’s net-zero goal harder to reach

April 13, 2021, 3:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Indian Point nuclear power plant

With a blunt but indisputably accurate headline, an article from yesterday’s New York Times on the imminent closure of Indian Point makes it immediately clear what will happen when Unit 3, the nuclear plant’s last operating reactor, is shut down at the end of this month: The state of New York will be forced to rely more heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation.

Following the retirement of Indian Point-2 last April, the share of New York’s power coming from gas-fired plants rose to about 40 percent, from about 36 percent in 2019, the piece notes, adding that the share from renewables moved up only slightly, to about 30 percent.

Study: SMRs could offer low-cost decarbonization for Canada’s industrial sector

April 8, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

New research indicates that small modular reactors have the potential to deliver cost-effective emission reductions in Canada’s heavy-industry sector. The research was conducted by consulting firms EnviroEconomics and Navius Research, with support from the Canadian Nuclear Association and the Canadian Nuclear Industry SMR Secretariat, along with the CANDU Owners Group.

Researchers explored a variety of cost and technical assumptions for deploying SMRs. Across all scenarios, SMRs delivered low-cost emission reductions, driving down the cost of getting Canada to net zero by 2050—a stated goal of the Trudeau administration. With deployments set to begin as early as 2026, SMRs could be widespread by 2035 as the demand increases rapidly for reductions in the industrial sector, according to the researchers.

First UAE unit begins commercial operation

April 6, 2021, 3:02PMNuclear News
Barakah-1 (right) is now providing reliable and sustainable electricity around the clock. Photo: ENEC

Unit 1 at the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant has entered commercial operation and is now providing “constant, reliable, and sustainable electricity around the clock,” the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced this morning. ENEC added that, as a result of the event, the company now leads the largest decarbonization effort of any industry in the UAE.

Canada’s net-zero pledge needs all-in commitment, says SNC-Lavalin

March 15, 2021, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

A new technical report from Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin finds Canada’s stated goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 to be achievable but stresses the importance of immediate action and investment in all forms of low-carbon energy production, including nuclear, hydro, renewables, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen.

According to the 100-page document, Engineering Net Zero, Canada needs to triple its power production levels over the next 30 years, as forecasts show demand growing from 500 TWh to 1,500 TWh.

A 28-page executive summary of the report is available online.

House Dems introduce clean energy bill for net zero

March 8, 2021, 3:01PMNuclear News

Democratic leaders in the House last week introduced the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act (the CLEAN Future Act, or H.R. 1512), a nearly 1,000-page piece of climate change–focused legislation establishing, among other things, a federal clean electricity standard that targets a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

The bill, a draft version of which was released in January 2020, presents a sweeping set of policy proposals, both sector-specific and economy-wide, to meet those targets. The final version includes a number of significant revisions to bring the legislation into closer alignment with President Biden’s climate policy campaign pledges. For example, the bill’s clean electricity standard would require all retail electricity suppliers to provide 80 percent clean energy to consumers by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035. (A six-page fact sheet detailing the updates is available online.)

U.K. endorses nuclear for green hydrogen future

February 24, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

Nuclear power could produce as much as one-third of the United Kingdom’s clean hydrogen needs by 2050, posits the Hydrogen Roadmap, a 12-page report recently approved by the Nuclear Industry Council (NIC) and released last week by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA).

The NIC, co-chaired by the British government’s minister for business, energy, and clean growth, and the chairman of the NIA, sets strategic priorities for government-industry collaboration to promote nuclear power in the United Kingdom.

The road to net zero: The report outlines how large-scale and small modular reactors could produce both the power and the heat necessary to produce emissions-free, or “green,” hydrogen. Existing large-scale reactors, it says, could produce green hydrogen today at scale through electrolysis, as could the next generation of gigawatt-scale reactors. Also, according to the report, SMRs, the first unit of which could be deployed within the next 10 years, could unlock possibilities for green hydrogen production near industrial clusters.

Canadian survey reveals solid support for nuclear investment

February 22, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

A new survey exploring the attitudes of Canadians toward climate change and their expectations and level of support for government intervention to tackle the issue finds that 86 percent believe that Canada should invest in clean technologies, including renewables and nuclear energy.

The survey, conducted by research and strategy firm Abacus Data between January 29 and February 3, was commissioned by the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA).

CNA says: “It’s clear there is strong support for the government to implement a mix of solutions to address the [climate change] challenge, including investing in renewables and clean nuclear technologies,” stated John Gorman, CNA president and chief executive officer, in a February 18 press release. “We continue to see that the more understanding Canadians have, the more they support zero-emissions nuclear technologies to help reach our net zero 2050 goal. This includes investment in small modular reactors, which Canadians believe bring value to replace carbon-based fuels with clean electricity, decarbonize high-emissions industries, and transition remote communities away from reliance on diesel.”