South Korea completes first vacuum vessel section for ITER

ITER vacuum vessel section no. 6, shown here, was completely assembled in April. South Korea is providing four of the nine 40-degree vacuum vessel sections; Europe is providing the other five. Photo: ITER

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has completed work on the first vacuum vessel section for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the ITER Organization reported on April 28. The 440-ton section is now being prepared for shipping this summer to the ITER construction site, located near Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France.

2019 - A Wish List in Nuclear Energy

Welcome to 2019!  I hope everyone who took a break enjoyed it. For those who didn't, why didn't you?  Initially, I had thoughts of trying to separate from social media and news to a significant extent during the holidays but, after conversations with Linda Zec (our wonderful ANS staff liaison for the Social Media Team, among many other things) decided that it was impractical to do so for a variety of reasons.  So, as the holiday furor ebbed and flowed and I continued, still connected, to read news and year-end summations, I found myself wishing that there wouldn't be so much frustrating news in 2019.  That's why I decided to open my eighth calendar year writing for the ANS Nuclear Cafe with a wish list, or "listicle" in the inside jargon, if you prefer.  Here, in ascending order of importance (or, I suppose, increasing order of unlikelihood) are my five wishes for this new year in nuclear energy.  (All on one screen; no annoying "next" buttons.  You're welcome.)

Looking Back: A Brief History of CONTE

The accident that occurred at Three Mile Island on March 28, 1979, brought about many changes to the nuclear industry. Among the changes was the industry stopping to reflect on current procedures and the training of its employees. Exhorted by the findings of the Kemeny Commission and sponsored by the Department of Energy, industry leaders and training personnel began meeting on improvements to training at the Gatlinburg Conference in the early 1980's.

Small Modular Reactors Take Large Step Forward

In recent years the allure of small, flexible, easy to construct and operate nuclear plants incorporating small modular reactors (SMR) have continued to grow for a host of reasons. Here in the United States, we've watched the saga of the SMR unfold fairly slowly over the last few years, as companies have entered the fray to various levels of success and have achieved varied degrees of progress.*  Now, the latest large step in getting these small and versatile reactors into the worldwide commercial market has been taken - by an effort involving Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

PGSFR: An Advanced Fuel Cycle and Power Solution for Korea

by Will Davis; information for this report obtained both from the 2016 ANS Annual Meeting session on Prototype Gen-IV Reactors and from representatives of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), its subsidiary Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor Development Agency (SFRA), KEPCO Engineering & Construction,+ and Argonne National Laboratory.

South Korea nuclear power: Are the dark times over?

Ulchin Nuclear Station at night.  Courtesy KEPCO E&C.

Hanul (formerly Ulchin) Nuclear Station at night. (Courtesy KEPCO E&C)

Over the past four years, the South Korean nuclear power program has suffered a set of very public setbacks that cast doubt on the entire program's integrity, to the point where even the South Korean president's attention was directed at the enterprise, in addition to public support being damaged. A recent well-publicized realignment in energy policy has seen a reduction in the expected percentage that nuclear energy would contribute to South Korea's fuel mix, and in some quarters it was augured that the program had been crippled.

ANS's Mark Peters testifies to Congress on recycling used nuclear fuel

On  Wednesday, June 6, Dr. Mark T. Peters appeared on behalf  of the American Nuclear Society before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.  Peters is the Deputy Laboratory Director for Programs at Argonne National Laboratory and testified at the invitation of the subcommittee.

Good and bad news stories for nuclear 2011/2012

After giving a brief update on recent Fukushima-related events in the United States, I'd like to talk about some good (but relatively unpublicized) things that have happened during what has otherwise been a very challenging year for the nuclear industry. Then I'll discuss what, to me, was the most disconcerting story in the past year.

A Study in Nuclear Success, A Review of “Nuclear Silk Road: The ‘Koreanization’ of Nuclear Power Technology”

As part of the team that supported the startup of Yonggwang-3 and -4 (South Korea's first nuclear units, built in a technology transfer program with Combustion Engineering), I thought it long overdue to see a book that chronicled South Korea's journey from an impoverished nation to one of the world's leading players in the nuclear industry (e.g., South Korea has 21 operating reactors versus Germany's 17).