Granholm visits Clinch River Site to show support for SMRs

December 7, 2023, 3:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Secretary Granholm answers press questions at the Clinch River Nuclear Site while TVA president and CEO Jeff Lyash listens. (Photo: TVA)

Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the Clinch River Nuclear Site in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on December 5 to highlight the Biden administration’s support for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s advanced nuclear technology program.

Granholm indicated that the administration is willing to provide funding for the nation’s first commercial small modular reactor at the site. “Excited to see a shovel in the ground, hopefully in a few more years,” she said. “TVA is leading on small modular reactors with this site. Everybody’s looking to TVA to make sure that this can actually happen.”

U.K., South Korea form new clean energy partnership

November 28, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
U.K. energy security secretary Claire Coutinho and South Korean minister for trade, industry, and energy Moon Kyu Bang, following the signing of the U.K.-ROK Clean Energy Partnership. (Photo: @ClaireCoutinho/X)

The United Kingdom has announced a new partnership with South Korea to accelerate the clean energy transition by strengthening cooperation on low-carbon technologies, domestic climate policies, and civil nuclear energy.

Signed November 22 in London by British energy security and net zero secretary Claire Coutinho and South Korean minister for trade, industry, and energy Moon Kyu Bang, the partnership promotes U.K.-South Korean business collaboration, addressing barriers to trade and encouraging mutual development of the two nations’ energy sectors.

U.S., Philippines ink civil nuclear pact

November 20, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Lotilla (seated, at left) and Blinken (seated, at right) sign the 123 Agreement in San Francisco. Looking on (left to right) are Ann Ganzer, principal deputy assistant secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. State Department; Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Philippine president; and Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. State Department. (Photo: @SecBlinken/X)

The United States and the Philippines last week signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement—known in policy wonk jargon as a 123 Agreement.

X-energy, Ares call off merger plan

November 3, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear News

X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based small modular reactor/nuclear fuel developer, and Ares Acquisition Corporation (AAC), a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company, have agreed to terminate their business combination agreement, effective immediately, the companies announced this week.

Nuclear’s fortunes looking up, says IAEA

October 11, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear News
IAEA director general Grossi delivers the opening plenary at the Second International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power. (Photo: IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency has released the 2023 edition of its annual look at nuclear’s prospects in the coming decades—Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050—revising its global growth projections upward for a third consecutive year.

GE Hitachi named first corporate sponsor of Net Zero Nuclear

September 22, 2023, 9:00AMNuclear News

Net Zero Nuclear, an initiative that debuted earlier this month at the World Nuclear Symposium in London, has named GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) its initial corporate sponsor. The announcement was made Wednesday at the Atlantic Council’s Nuclear Energy Policy Summit in New York.

Fate of North Carolina nuclear measure uncertain

September 6, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear News


While a pronuclear energy bill currently under consideration in the North Carolina General Assembly appears to stand a good chance of advancing to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk, its chances of receiving his signature are less clear.

The legislation, S.B. 678, would replace the term “renewable energy” in state statutes with “clean energy” and specify that the new term includes both nuclear fission and fusion. In addition, the bill would eliminate language impeding the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) from issuing Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity for nuclear facilities.

According to S.B. 678, “clean energy resource” includes solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, “waste heat derived from a clean energy source and used to produce electricity or useful, measurable thermal energy at a retail electric customer’s facility,” and “nuclear energy resources, including an uprate to a nuclear energy facility, fusion energy, or hydrogen derived from a clean energy resource.”

Pritzker defends nuclear bill veto, but leaves an opening

August 30, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Speaking at an event last week at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker defended his recent veto of S.B. 76—the bipartisan bill that would have lifted the state’s decades-old moratorium on nuclear plant construction. At the same time, he extolled the promise of small modular reactors and said he would sign an amended version of the legislation.

Change to climate goal language boosts Sweden’s nuclear prospects

July 5, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, recently endorsed a proposal in the government’s spring amending budget to change the country’s 2040 climate goal of 100 percent renewable electricity production to 100 percent fossil fuel–free electricity production.

Nuclear energy a focus of new U.S.-U.K. pact

June 12, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
President Biden and Prime Minister Sunak chatted in the Oval Office last week during meetings to announce the Atlantic Declaration for a Twenty-First Century U.S.-U.K. Economic Partnership. (Source: Twitter/Rishi Sunak)

At a joint press conference in the White House East Room last week, President Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak—in Washington for two days of discussions with the president, members of Congress, and business leaders—debuted a new bilateral agreement dubbed the Atlantic Declaration for a Twenty-First Century U.S.-U.K. Economic Partnership.

Terrestrial Energy awarded DOE grant for IMSR licensing

May 17, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
An illustration of an IMSR plant. (Image: Terrestrial Energy)

Ontario–based Terrestrial Energy announced yesterday that its U.S. branch has been awarded a regulatory assistance grant from the Department of Energy to support the company’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing program for the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) plant.

Promising nuclear technologies receive $22.1 million from DOE

May 10, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy yesterday announced the awarding of $22.1 million to 10 industry-led nuclear projects, including two aimed at expanding clean hydrogen production and one at advancing a microreactor design. Other projects selected for funding are focused on addressing nuclear regulatory hurdles, improving existing reactor operation, and facilitating new advanced reactor developments.

Abstracts for all 10 projects can be found here.

Canada completes second phase of IMSR design review

April 21, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
A rendition of Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR. (Image: NRC)

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed phase two of its prelicensing vendor design review for Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), the Ontario-based advanced nuclear technology firm announced Tuesday. Phase one of the VDR commenced in April 2016 and was completed in November of the following year.

U.K., South Korea issue joint declaration on nuclear cooperation

April 11, 2023, 9:40AMNuclear News

As part of the run-up to the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy, and Environment in Japan on April 15–16, U.K. energy security secretary Grant Shapps met in Seoul yesterday with South Korean trade, industry, and energy minister Chang-yang Lee to discuss closer collaboration on clean energy development and energy security.

Virginia nuclear bills signed into law

March 30, 2023, 6:57AMNuclear News
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin participates in a bill-signing ceremony at Energy DELTA Lab in southwest Virginia. (Photo: Christian Martinez/Office of Gov. Glenn Youngkin)

Declaring it a “great day for Virginia energy and American energy,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin on March 23 signed a number of bills to further his state’s all-of-the-above energy plan, including some measures sure to please nuclear energy advocates. Launched in October of last year, the Virginia plan touts nuclear among other energy sources and calls for deploying a commercial small modular reactor in southwest Virginia within the next 10 years.

DOE-NE offers inside look at FY 2024 budget request

March 24, 2023, 8:55AMNuclear News

While President Biden’s $6.9 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2024, submitted to Congress on March 9, was quickly pronounced “dead on arrival” by Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), it remains valuable as an indicator of the administration’s funding priorities for the coming year, including its nuclear energy priorities.

Which is why ANS on Wednesday hosted “An Inside Look at the FY 2024 Budget,” a members-only webinar moderated by ANS Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy and featuring a team from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, including DOE-NE head Kathryn Huff.

First Xe-100 plant support center to open this year

March 13, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based small modular reactor developer, has announced its plan to open the first Xe-100 reactor fleet management, monitoring, and training facility—the Plant Support Center–East (PCSE)—in the fourth quarter of this year.

Joint licensing process for Westinghouse microreactor begins

February 28, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
A rendering of an eVinci microreactor facility. (Image: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company has filed a notice of intent to submit key licensing reports for its eVinci microreactor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for joint review, the firm announced last week. (The two nuclear regulators signed a memorandum of cooperation in August 2019 to increase collaboration on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies.)

Correction: Nuclear removed from Va. energy fund bill

February 16, 2023, 7:37AMNuclear News


Nuclear Newswire erroneously reported this morning that the Virginia Senate’s Finance and Appropriations Committee on February 15 advanced legislation that included nuclear in a list of energy technologies that would receive research and development funding through a Virginia Power Innovation Fund. In fact, the bill, H.B. 2386, was approved after the committee had stripped nuclear from the list. NN regrets the error.

Following the finance panel’s vote, Del. Israel O’Quinn (R., 5th Dist.), the bill’s sponsor, expressed his disappointment. “The knee-jerk opposition to nuclear innovation is very short-sighted and puts Virginia behind the curve on energy diversification,” he said. “Nuclear energy is inevitably going to have to be a bigger part of Virginia’s energy portfolio. It produces zero carbon and is highly reliable.”