NRC dockets application for updated NuScale design

August 2, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Marking the NRC’s acceptance of NuScale’s standard design approval application for formal review are, left to right, Getachew Tesfaye, NRC senior project manager; Robert Gamble, NuScale vice president of engineering; Brian Smith, NRC director of the Division of New and Renewed Licenses; Carrie Fosaaen, NuScale vice president of regulatory affairs; Karin Feldman, NuScale vice president of the program management office; Robert Taylor, NRC deputy office director for new reactors; and Mark Shaver, NuScale director of regulatory affairs. (Photo: NuScale)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for formal review NuScale Power’s standard design approval (SDA) application for its updated small modular reactor design, the Portland, Ore.–based firm announced yesterday.

UAMPS subsidiary applies to NRC to begin CFPP construction activities

August 1, 2023, 9:37AMNuclear News
Concept art of the six-module Carbon Free Power Project, to be sited at INL. (Image: NuScale)

CFPP LLC, the limited liability company established by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) in 2020 to bring its Carbon Free Power Project to fruition, has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a limited work authorization (LWA) to permit certain early project construction activities prior to the issuance of a combined license (COL). In a July 31 news release, CFPP said that should its application be approved, early-scope construction on the small modular reactor project would likely begin in mid-2025.

X-energy, Energy Northwest team for multiple SMR deployments

July 20, 2023, 9:43AMNuclear News

Small modular reactor firm X-energy and Energy Northwest, owner and operator of the Columbia nuclear power plant in Richland, Wash., announced yesterday the signing of a joint development agreement (JDA) for up to 12 Xe-100 SMRs in central Washington, capable of generating up to a total of 960 MWe.

The JDA defines and details the scope, location, and schedule under which the commercial development of the project will move forward, the companies said, adding that they will also work together to determine the best approaches to licensing and regulatory matters, as well as the project delivery model. Currently, the Xe-100 project is expected to be developed at a site adjacent to the Columbia facility, with the first module coming on line by 2030.

More BWRX-300 units to be deployed at Darlington

July 10, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Ontario energy minister Todd Smith (left) and Ontario Power Generation president and CEO Ken Hartwick announce plans for three more BWRX-300 units at Darlington. (Photo: OPG)

If we’re in a new nuclear renaissance, its capital would appear to be Ontario. On July 7, just two days after debuting a collaboration with Bruce Power to build up to 4.8 GW of new nuclear generation at the Bruce plant, the government of Ontario announced that it is working with Ontario Power Generation to begin planning and licensing for the deployment of three additional GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactors at that utility’s Darlington site.

TVO to help Norway with nuclear ambitions

July 6, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News
A map of Norway (green) and Finland (blue). (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Consulting company TVO Nuclear Services (TVONS), a subsidiary of Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, owner and operator of Finland’s three-unit Olkiluoto nuclear plant, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Norsk Kjernekraft, aka Norwegian Nuclear, a firm established last July with the goal of bringing small modular reactors to power reactor–deprived Norway.

A June 27 announcement from TVO said the new MOU provides the Norwegian firm with “access to the know-how and experience of one of the world’s best-known nuclear power companies” and stressed TVO’s 60 percent ownership of Posiva, the company responsible for the disposal of Finland’s spent nuclear fuel. “Posiva has successfully built the world’s first final disposal facility for high-level nuclear waste,” TVO stated. “This is decisively important for Norwegian Nuclear’s plans for the management of the entire life cycle of nuclear power.”

U.S., Polish nuclear regulators renew pact

June 29, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
From left, NRC chair Christopher Hanson and PAA president Andrzej Głowacki sign a cooperation agreement in Washington, D.C. (Photo: PAA)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) have renewed their cooperation agreement for the next five years.

Steady Energy raises €2 million for district-heating SMR

June 28, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Finnish company Steady Energy, a spinout entity from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, announced on June 27 that it has raised €2 million in seed funding led by VTT, Yes VC, and Lifeline Ventures. Steady Energy aims to build what it said would be the world’s first reactor-based heating plant by 2030. The company will use the funding to work on research and development to demonstrate the functionality of its LDR-50 plant by building a 1:1 scale mock-up powered by electric heat.

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.

SMR survey suggests low awareness but high acceptability

June 19, 2023, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The latest National Nuclear Energy Public Opinion Survey by Bisconti Research, conducted from April 28 to May 5, indicated little awareness of small modular reactors (SMRs). Of 1,000 adults in the United States who were surveyed, only about 20 percent answered “yes” to the question “Have you heard anything about advanced-design nuclear power plants called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)?” Sixty-seven percent answered “no,” and 14 percent responded “not sure.”

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.

Six firms unite for SMR deployment in Central & Eastern Europe

June 16, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
(Photo: Nuclearelectrica)

Six companies—NuScale Power, Romania’s nuclear plant operator Nuclearelectrica, E-Infra, Nova Power & Gas, Fluor Enterprises, and Samsung C&T Corporation—signed a memorandum of understanding on June 13 to collaborate on the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants in Central and Eastern Europe, starting with Romania.

NuScale, Accelerant ally to develop operator training program

June 8, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The NuScale control room simulator has been used to showcase the plant’s design, prototype new displays, and test the operator and supervisor procedures in a fully digital control room. (Photos: NuScale Power)

NuScale Power has signed an agreement with training and consulting firm Accelerant Solutions for the development and implementation of a reactor operator training program, the Portland, Ore.–based small modular reactor developer announced on June 7.

OPG to collaborate further with Polish firm on SMR deployment in Europe

June 7, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
Officials gather after OPG and OSGE signed a letter of intent on SMR deployment in Europe on June 2. (Photo: OSGE)

Ontario Power Generation—owner and operator of Canada’s Darlington and Pickering nuclear plants—and Poland’s ORLEN Synthos Green Energy (OSGE) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) that builds on the companies’ existing cooperation on the deployment of small modular reactors in Europe, OPG announced last week.

Evolving finance structures drive new joint ventures for SMRs

June 7, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear NewsAndrew Paterson

Andrew Paterson

Having worked at the U.S. Department of Energy for a decade (1997–2007) and across the energy sector on the Environmental Business International board for 30 years, I have witnessed firsthand the widely shared opinion that the “next big thing” in nuclear will be small modular reactors for urban centers and to provide both heat and power for a variety of energy-intensive sectors. To meet the decarbonization demands of these urban centers, the current energy landscape is pushing many countries away from a “renewables-only” strategy. For example, the German Energiewende (or “energy turnaround”) formally started around 2000 under then chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to phase out nuclear toward mostly renewables (with natural gas backup imported from Russia). As demonstrated by the 2022 gas supply shock and price spikes, Germany created its own nightmare: They now suffer the highest energy prices in Europe, have an unstable grid, and are forced to use more coal.

NuScale becomes latest member of Romanian nuclear group

May 25, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

NuScale Power announced yesterday that it has joined the Romanian Atomic Forum, aka Romatom, as a supporting member “to champion the association’s nuclear energy goals and further the next generation of advanced nuclear technology experts, technologists, and operators in Romania.” The move further deepens the American small modular reactor company’s commitment to the deployment of a VOYGR SMR plant in the Central European state.

$275 Million for NuScale VOYGR deployment in Romania announced

May 24, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
President Biden met with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom at the G7 Summit, held May 19–21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Also pictured are representatives of the European Commission and European Council.)

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, over the weekend, the Biden administration and partners Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates announced a public-private commitment of up to $275 million to support the advancement of NuScale Power’s small modular reactor project in Romania.

NuScale, Nucor mull pairing SMR plants with steel mills

May 22, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News
A Nucor electric arc furnace. (Photo: Nucor)

NuScale Power and steel manufacturer Nucor have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants at Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills, the Portland, Ore.–based SMR developer announced Tuesday.

Tennessee governor launches nuclear advisory council

May 19, 2023, 1:03PMNuclear News


In his latest effort to promote the growth of nuclear energy in his state, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order on Tuesday to establish the Tennessee Nuclear Energy Advisory Council.

“Tennessee is ready-made to lead America’s energy independence and drive continued economic growth with safe, clean, and reliable nuclear energy for the future,” Lee said at a news conference held at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus to publicize the document. “Today, I’m signing an executive order that will continue our work to make Tennessee the number-one state for nuclear energy companies to invest and thrive, bringing greater opportunity and quality jobs for Tennesseans.”

First international NuScale E2 Center opens

May 17, 2023, 7:47AMNuclear News
Officials from the U.S. and Romanian governments, NuScale, and Nuclearelectrica gather at the University Politehnica of Bucharest on May 12 to debut the first NuScale E2 Center in Europe in preparation for the deployment of a VOYGR SMR power plant in Doicești, Romania. (Photo: NuScale Power )

NuScale Power has announced the opening of its fifth Energy Exploration (E2) Center, at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, in support of the small modular reactor developer’s ongoing collaboration with the U.S. and Romanian governments and Nuclearelectrica, operator of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

Westinghouse submits AP300 regulatory engagement plan to NRC

May 15, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear News
A cutaway depiction of the AP300 SMR. (Image: Westinghouse)

Just days after immediately achieving key-player status in the small modular reactor market with the unveiling of its AP300 SMR, Westinghouse Electric Company on May 9 announced the filing of the new unit’s preapplication regulatory engagement plan with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The plan outlines the preapplication activities Westinghouse intends to carry out with NRC staff to support the AP300’s licensing. According to the announcement, the plan documents the basic design philosophy of the technology, an overview of the proposed licensing approach, and a timeline for the planned preapplication interactions between the NRC and Westinghouse, with the goal of soliciting agency feedback on noteworthy topics.