Indiana SMR bill signed into law

March 22, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News


Indiana has joined the growing list of states looking into small modular reactors for future energy production as their coal-fired plants are retired.

Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 18 signed into law S. 271, which allows and incentivizes the construction of SMRs in Indiana. Introduced on January 10 and sponsored by state Sens. Eric Koch (R., Bedford) and Blake Doriot (R., Goshen), S. 271 passed in the Senate on February 1 in a 39–9 vote and in the House on February 22 by a vote of 70 to 22.

Specifics: S. 271 requires the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), in consultation with the state’s Department of Environmental Management, to adopt rules concerning the granting of certificates of public convenience for the construction, purchase, or lease of SMRs, defined as reactors with a rated electric generating capacity of not more than 350 MW. The rules are to be adopted by July 1, 2023.

Europe’s confused climate strategy

March 18, 2022, 3:55PMNuclear NewsMatthew L. Wald

Europeans are taking resolute steps to reduce their output of climate-changing gases, but some countries are moving in the wrong direction.

Many countries are adding solar and wind, which are low-carbon energy sources. Some have moved to biomass, the value of which as a climate cure is not clear. A few are adding reactors, while others are defining nuclear as dirty energy and natural gas as “clean” and are changing their generation mix accordingly.

U.K. begins assessment of Rolls-Royce SMR design

March 9, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Artist’s conception of a site for the Rolls-Royce small modular reactor. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

The United Kingdom’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has asked regulators—including the U.K. Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency, and Natural Resources Wales—to begin a generic design assessment (GDA) of Rolls-Royce SMR’s 470-MWe small modular reactor design.

First set of equipment delivered for Xe-100 RPS prototype

March 7, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Members of the Xe-100 reactor protection system team and the first set of prototype equipment. (Photo: X-energy)

X-energy, developer of the Xe-100 small modular reactor, has delivered the first of four sets of equipment for the Xe-100 reactor protection system (RPS) prototype, marking the latest milestone in the company’s efforts under the Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).

Setting expectations in a nuclear "moment"

February 24, 2022, 12:16PMNuclear NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

If you are in the nuclear world, it is hard to enter 2022 without a sense of optimism. Nuclear is enjoying a moment right now. Not a day goes by where there isn’t some new story on nuclear and climate or the development of new and advanced technologies, both fission and fusion.

On the business side, a flurry of deals and partnerships have been struck, and more start-­up capital has flowed into nuclear energy projects in the past six months than in the previous three years combined. Soon, you will be able to buy shares of NuScale on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “SMR.” On the policy side, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is now law, providing roughly $8 billion in “guaranteed money” for both advanced reactor demonstrations and support for the operating fleet, potentially more if nuclear is competitive in the cross-­cutting funding initiatives created and funded in the legislation.

Clinch River in the Spotlight

February 17, 2022, 3:15PMANS Nuclear Cafe
An advanced nuclear reactor technology park is hoped for the 935-acre Clinch River site. Image: TVA

Last week’s announcement from the Tennessee Valley Authority about its “New Nuclear Program,” which outlines the potential development of the Clinch River site near Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Eastern Tennessee, is the catalyst for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday post. The Clinch River site was originally planned to be the location for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, a project that, at the time, was meant to be the future of the nuclear industry in the United States.

NuScale solidifies plans for SMR deployment in Poland

February 16, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
John Hopkins (left), NuScale Power’s president and CEO, and Marcin Chludziński, president of KGHM’s management board, sign the agreement on February 14. (Photo: Business Wire)

At an event held on February 14 at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., small modular reactor developer NuScale Power inked an agreement with KGHM Polska Miedz S.A., to initiate deployment of NuScale’s SMR technology in Poland.

TVA board approves advanced reactor program; initial focus on Clinch River

February 11, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
An advanced nuclear reactor technology park is hoped for the 935-acre Clinch River site. Image: TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board of directors has given the go-ahead for a program that will explore the development and potential deployment of small modular reactors as part of the utility’s decarbonization strategy.

Letter of intent sets COLA submittal date for NuScale plant

February 8, 2022, 3:02PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Small modular reactor developer NuScale Power has informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission via letter that a combined license application (COLA) for the Carbon Free Power Project’s SMR plant is expected to be submitted to the agency in January 2024. The COLA will be for a six-unit 77-MWe plant.

The public power consortium Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems launched the Carbon Free Power Project in 2015 to develop, own, and operate the nation’s first SMR plant, to be located at Idaho National Laboratory, with reactor technology supplied by NuScale.

Tennessee governor gives nuclear another rhetorical boost

February 3, 2022, 7:22AMNuclear News


In his annual State of the State Address on January 31, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee offered more praise for nuclear energy, after lauding it earlier in the month during a tour of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear plant

“For decades, East Tennessee has been home to some of the best-kept secrets in nuclear energy and American innovation,” Lee told the state’s General Assembly. “Today, many may not realize that Tennessee derives more power from nuclear energy than from any other source. Recently, I visited the TVA’s Watts Bar nuclear facility, the last nuclear facility to be built in America, to see firsthand how nuclear power keeps our grid dependable even when the weather is not. Nuclear power is clean energy that actually works for the private sector.”

Tennessee governor backs nuclear energy and TVA's plans for SMRs

January 25, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

During a tour last week of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s two-unit Watts Bar nuclear power plant in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee said, "Nuclear energy is so important not only because it is an important part of TVA's power generation but also because of the value that clean energy via nuclear energy can have for sustainability in this country,” according to an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lee added that he would support TVA’s plans if it decided to build small modular reactors.

IEA to Canadian government: Step up support for nuclear

January 18, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The International Energy Agency’s newly published in-depth review of Canada’s energy policies, the first since 2015, urges the nation’s government to take more action in support of nuclear energy.

The 261-page report, Canada 2022 Energy Policy Review, released on January 13, features a 17-page section devoted to nuclear that includes four specific recommendations for Canada’s federal government:

Looking back at 2021—Nuclear News October through December

January 7, 2022, 2:59PMNuclear News

This is the fifth of five articles posted today to look back at the top news stories of 2021 for the nuclear community. The full article, "Looking back at 2021,"was published in the January 2022 issue of Nuclear News.

Quite a year was 2021. In the following stories, we have compiled what we feel are the past year’s top news stories from the October-December time frame—please enjoy this recap from a busy year in the nuclear community.

Looking back at 2021—Nuclear News January through March

January 7, 2022, 10:35AMNuclear News

This is the second of five articles to be posted today to look back at the top news stories of 2021 for the nuclear community. The full article, "Looking back at 2021,"was published in the January 2022 issue of Nuclear News.

Quite a year was 2021. In the following stories, we have compiled what we feel are the past year’s top news stories from the January-March time frame—please enjoy this recap from a busy year in the nuclear community.

  • Click here to see the first article in the series.

X-energy teams with Canada’s First Nations to aid Indigenous communities

December 21, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based developer of the Xe-100 small modular reactor, announced on December 15 that X-energy Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding with the First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) to look for ways to build “Indigenous capacity” for the future SMR industry in Canada.

Firms partner to support BWRX-300 deployment in Poland

December 16, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), BWXT Canada, and Polish firm Synthos Green Energy (SGE) yesterday announced their intention to cooperate in the deployment of GEH’s BWRX-300 small modular reactors in Poland. With its partners, SGE hopes to deploy at least 10 of the SMRs in the Central European state by the early 2030s.

NuScale to go public using SPAC process

December 15, 2021, 12:07PMNuclear News

First reported last week by S&P Global Platts but confirmed only yesterday, small modular reactor developer NuScale Power plans to go public via a merger with Spring Valley Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. (SPACs are shell corporations listed on a stock exchange with the purpose of acquiring or merging with a private company, effectively taking that company public without going through the standard initial public offering process.)

Advisory board established for French SMR development

December 9, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News
Click to see full image. Concept art for the NUWARD small modular reactor. (Image: TechnicAtome)

Électricité de France recently announced the formation of an advisory board for NUWARD, France’s small modular reactor project. According to the company, the establishment of the International NUWARD Advisory Board (INAB) is a major step forward in support of the technology’s development.

HTGR locked in for U.K. demonstration project

December 7, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News


The U.K. government has confirmed its selection of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) for Britain’s £170 million (about $236 million) Advanced Modular Reactor Demonstration Program.

Greg Hands, minister for energy, clean growth, and climate change, delivered the news on December 2 via a speech at the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual conference. “Following evaluation of responses received,” Hands said, “I’m pleased to announce today that we will focus on HTGRs as the technology choice for the program moving forward—with the ambition for this to lead to a demonstration by the early 2030s.”

NNL approved: “As we look to the future and the part we play as a scientific superpower, the U.K.’s unparalleled experience in gas-cooled technologies makes HTGRs the common-sense choice for pursuing advanced nuclear,” said Paul Howarth, chief executive officer at the United Kingdom’s National Nuclear Laboratory. “Following announcements already made on financing for the next stage of the Rolls-Royce SMR program and the proposed Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill to make large-scale plants more achievable, the U.K. is primed once more to be a global leader in nuclear technologies—large, small, and advanced.”