A digital rendering of the Dow/X-energy Xe-100 plant in Texas. (Image: X-energy)
Dow and X-energy have announced the location of their Xe-100 small modular reactor deployment project: Dow’s UCC Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas. According to a May 11 joint news release, the SMR plant will provide the Seadrift site with power and heat as the site’s existing energy and steam assets near the end of their operational lives.
Artist's rendering of an LFR plant. (Image: Westinghouse)
Westinghouse Electric Company and Ansaldo Nucleare have announced the signing of a cooperation agreement to develop a next-generation nuclear power plant based on lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) technology.
Wholly owned by Italy’s Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo Nucleare is involved in the production of high-tech nuclear components; the design and construction of new builds; decommissioning; and advanced research on radwaste management, fusion, fourth-generation plants, and small modular reactors. In addition, the firm played a significant role in the development of such Generation III technologies as Westinghouse’s AP600 and AP1000 reactors.
Under the agreement, Westinghouse and Ansaldo Nucleare will advance a common design to maximize synergies; combine experience in design, testing, and licensing; and align respective partner and supply-chain organizations.
Barakah-3 (Photo: Nawah Energy Company)
The United Arab Emirates’ Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has issued the operating license for the Barakah nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation announced yesterday. In addition, following receipt of the license, ENEC subsidiary Nawah Energy Company began the process of loading fuel assemblies into the unit, according to the announcement.
A screenshot from the Kurzgesagt YouTube video
The German animation studio Kurzgesagt released a new video to its English YouTube channel last week to answer the question, “Do we need nuclear energy to stop climate change?” The studio’s channel on YouTube is self-described as a small team working to make science look beautiful. Its videos discuss a variety of scientific, technological, philosophical, and psychological questions, and it has more than 14 million subscribers. The channel recently discussed the question of deaths caused by radiation—spoiler alert, nuclear is among the safest of all energy production.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program, led by Idaho National Laboratory, works closely with utilities to improve outage efficiencies and enable nuclear to go “toe-to-toe economically” with other energy sources.
Working in INL’s Human Systems Simulation Laboratory, senior R&D scientist Ahmed Al Rashdan co-developed the Advanced Remote Monitoring project for the LWRS Program.
There are numerous similarities between auto racing pit crews and the people in the nuclear power industry who get us through outages: Pace. Efficiency. Diagnostics. Teamwork. Skill. And safety above all else.
To Paul Hunton, a research scientist at Idaho National Laboratory, the keys to successfully navigating a nuclear plant outage are planning and preparation. “When you go into an outage, you are ready,” Hunton said. “You need to manage outage time. You want to avoid adding delays to the scheduled outage work because if you do, it can add a couple million dollars to the cost.”
Hunton was the principal investigator for the September 2019 report Addressing Nuclear Instrumentation and Control (I&C) Modernization Through Application of Techniques Employed in Other Industries, produced for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, led by INL. Hunton drew on his experience outside the nuclear industry, including a decade at Newport News Shipbuilding.