Cavendish Nuclear, X-energy to collaborate on HTGR deployment in U.K.

May 13, 2022, 9:34AMNuclear News

A cross-section view of X-energy’s Xe-100 reactor. (Image: X-energy)

U.K. nuclear services company Cavendish Nuclear has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S. reactor and fuel-design engineering firm X-energy to act as its deployment partner for high-temperature, gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) in the United Kingdom.

Headquartered in Rockville, Md., X-energy is the developer of the Xe-100, an 80-MWe reactor with a modular design permitting it to be scaled into a “four-pack” 320-MWe power plant. As a pebble bed HTGR, the Xe-100 would use TRISO particles encased in graphite pebbles as the fuel and helium as the coolant.

According to a May 11 joint statement from the companies, development and deployment of HTGRs in the United Kingdom would support an increase in the nation’s energy security, contribute toward the government’s net-zero-by-2050 commitment, and create considerable opportunities for the U.K. nuclear supply chain.

DOE releases plan for clean energy supply chain

March 2, 2022, 12:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy last week released America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition, billed by the DOE as “the first-ever comprehensive plan to ensure security and increase [the nation’s] energy independence.”

The 76-page document was produced in response to President Biden’s February 2021 executive order on U.S. supply chains, which called for a plethora of department reports on the subject, including one from the DOE on supply chains for the energy-sector industrial base.

What they’re saying: “Taking bold action to invest in our supply chains means America will reap the tremendous opportunities that tackling climate change presents to kickstart domestic manufacturing and help secure our national, economic, and energy security,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The strength of a nation relies on resilient and reliable critical supply chains across sectors, and DOE’s report provides the key strategies and recommendations for Congress and the federal government to act now to help deliver more jobs and a stronger, cleaner future.

New bill aims to bring advanced reactors to economically depressed communities

December 20, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

Bipartisan support for nuclear energy continued on Capitol Hill last week as Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the committee’s ranking member, introduced the Fission for the Future Act of 2021, a measure backing the commercial deployment of advanced nuclear reactors.

Introduced on December 16, the legislation would prioritize communities affected by the closure of coal and other fossil-fueled generating facilities and assist in the reutilization of those sites to deploy advanced nuclear power plants, promoting job growth in economically depressed regions.

DOE seeks stakeholder input on energy supply chains

December 6, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy issued a request for information (RFI) last week in response to President Biden’s February 24 executive order directing it to submit a report on supply chains for the energy sector industrial base within one year.

According to the order, the United States requires supply chains that are “resilient,” meaning “secure and diverse—facilitating greater domestic production, a range of supply, built-in redundancies, adequate stockpiles, safe and secure digital networks, and a world-class American manufacturing base and workforce.”

First major component removed at Bruce-6

July 28, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News
A crane removes the first of the Unit 6 steam generators on July 23. (Photo: Bruce Power)

Bruce Power has removed the first of eight steam generators from Unit 6 at the Bruce nuclear plant in Ontario, the company announced earlier this week. The work was done as part of the facility’s major component replacement (MCR) project.

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.

Westinghouse to invest in Poland’s nuclear future

March 17, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

Patrick Fragman (left), president and CEO of Westinghouse, and Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure, met on March 15, 2021, in Warsaw. Photo: Westinghouse

The signing last October of a bilateral agreement between the United States and Poland to cooperate on the latter’s civil nuclear power program appears to be bearing fruit. On March 15, following a meeting in Warsaw between Patrick Fragman, president and chief executive officer of Westinghouse Electric Company, and Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure, Westinghouse announced its intention to invest in nuclear technologies in Poland.

The agreement, which entered into force earlier this month, calls for the United States and Poland to cooperate over the next 18 months on a report laying out a plan for implementing Poland’s nuclear power program, as well as potential financing arrangements. It also defines areas of U.S.-Polish cooperation for decades to come, including support for relevant business entities and government-led efforts ranging from regulation to research and training to supply chain development.

Uranium reserve bill reintroduced in House; Grand Canyon mining ban progresses

March 4, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

The House of Representatives produced some good news for the nation’s uranium mining industry in late February, but also some of the opposite variety.

Latta

First, on February 25, Rep. Bob Latta (R, Ohio) reintroduced the Nuclear Prosperity and Security Act (H.R. 1351), initially brought forward by the congressman last July. The bill would direct the secretary of energy to establish and operate a uranium reserve in the United States to ensure the availability of the element in the event of a market disruption and to support U.S. strategic fuel cycle capabilities.

“The United States has fallen behind in the competitive development of nuclear energy, and now we rely heavily on foreign sources of uranium,” Latta stated. “In order to avoid threats to our nuclear supply chain, we need to build up our domestic uranium mining, production, and conversion by establishing a uranium reserve. The Nuclear Prosperity and Security Act would establish a domestic uranium reserve that will result in lower carbon emissions, new jobs and economic growth, and a more secure world.”

H.R. 1351 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Wales inks deal with Sizewell C group

February 8, 2021, 2:59PMNuclear News

The outlook for new nuclear construction in Wales may have taken a bleak turn, but that hasn’t stopped the Welsh government from seeking other opportunities for its nuclear industry. On February 5, the government announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Sizewell C Consortium, an organization of nearly 200 businesses and trade unions from the United Kingdom's nuclear supply chain focused on ensuring that the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, England, actually gets built.

The consortium includes the firms Atkins, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Cavendish Nuclear, Doosan Babcock, EDF, Laing O’Rourke, and Mott MacDonald, as well as the unions GMB, Unite, and Prospect.

A big deal: According to the announcement, in the event that the Sizewell C project is approved, the MOU could potentially see an investment of up to £900 million (about $1.2 billion) in the Welsh nuclear supply chain and up to 4,700 jobs supported across Wales. The signatories also view the agreement as a way to help retain the Welsh nuclear skills base.

New report highlights nuclear supply chain opportunities

September 28, 2020, 7:07AMNuclear News

The London-based World Nuclear Association (WNA) on September 23 released The World Nuclear Supply Chain: Outlook 2040, a market-oriented look at the opportunities and challenges for nuclear power plants and their supply chain, including scenarios for the evolution of nuclear energy over the next two decades.

The report provides information on nearly 300 major independent suppliers of nuclear-grade structures, systems, components, and services, as well as an up-to-date picture of ongoing and planned nuclear plant construction, decommissioning, and major refurbishment and waste management projects.