Advanced Reactors


Hyundai tops other bidders to build Bulgarian reactors

February 26, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant. (Photo: Gogo89873)

Bulgaria has shortlisted South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction team to build new reactors at Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

Of the five international companies to bid on the project, Hyundai E&C was the only one that met the requirements of project company Kozloduy NPP—New Builds Plc. for the commissioning and construction of two new Westinghouse Electric AP1000 reactors, the Bulgarian firm said. Bids were due February 2.

ANS calls for a public meeting with NRC on RIPB design standard

February 14, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News

The American Nuclear Society has published the first voluntary consensus standard for nuclear reactor design that formally incorporates risk-informed, performance-based (RIPB) decision-making in July 2022. ANSI/ANS-30.3-2022, Light Water Reactor Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Design, tells reactor designers how they can incorporate RIPB principles and methods to ensure safety in new commercial light water reactor designs, and it includes a spectrum of options using both deterministic and risk-based approaches. As the first such standard, ANSI/ANS-30.3-2022 represents progress toward the adoption of RIPB principles for nuclear regulation and licensing—a shift the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was directed to make in the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, which became law five years ago.

RIPB safety case for TerraPower’s MCRE

February 13, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

Last month at the American Nuclear Society’s Risk-informed, Performance-based Principles and Policy Committee’s (RP3C’s) Community of Practice (CoP), Brandon Chisholm presented “Development of a Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Safety Case for TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE).” RP3C holds a CoP on the last Friday of the month from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ET), and participation is open to all professionals interested in RIPB principles and practices. Chisholm’s January 26 presentation is available to stream on YouTube.

Vogtle-4 startup delayed to Q2

February 5, 2024, 3:31PMNuclear News
Vogtle -4 in a photo posted in May 2023. (Photo: Georgia Power)

The long-awaited fourth unit at Plant Vogtle has hit another delay.

Atlanta-based Southern Co. announced last week that vibrations in the cooling system in Unit 4 require additional work that will push the reactor’s start date from the first quarter this year to the second quarter. The company said the problem is already fixed, but there is too much additional testing needed to meet a first quarter deadline.

The development of ANS standard for liquid-fuel molten salt reactors—ANSI/ANS-20.2-2023

February 5, 2024, 7:00AMANS News

Nuclear Safety Design Criteria and Functional Performance Requirements for Liquid-Fuel Molten Salt Reactor Nuclear Power Plants (ANSI/ANS-20.2-2023) has just been issued and is now available for purchase. It was developed by the American Nuclear Society and received approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on January 4.

GE Hitachi gets backing from U.K. future nuclear fund

January 31, 2024, 9:32AMNuclear News

The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) awarded £33.6 million (about U.S.$42.8 million) to GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy last week.

The move comes as part of the FNEF’s support for growing the Britain’s generation of 24 GW of nuclear by 2050. The country currently produces around 9,100 megawatts per year.

Ukraine accelerates plans for four new reactors

January 29, 2024, 3:10PMNuclear News
The Khmelnitskiy nuclear power plant, site of Ukraine's planned new reactors. (Photo: RLuts)

Ukraine plans to start construction on four new nuclear plants this summer or fall, the country’s energy minister said in televised remarks today.

The quicker timeline aims to compensate Ukraine for lost energy capacity as its war with Russia continues. Ukraine’s government, however, still needs to sign off on the plans.

“We need vessels,” said energy minister German Galushchenko.

Informal survey asks when the next U.S. nuclear plant will come on line

January 23, 2024, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Wesoff

According to an admittedly informal and unscientific survey of people from online “nuclear affinity groups” conducted by Eric Wesoff, the editorial director for clean energy newsroom Canary Media, there is no consensus regarding when the next nuclear power plant will come on line in the United States. Wesoff recently reported that upon polling his nuclear-connected network on LinkedIn, X, and Reddit, he found that “the responses were all over the map.”

Nuclear renaissance? Wesoff was prompted to try his survey about the expected date for the next nuclear plant because “conditions are perfect for the American nuclear renaissance.” He cited strong support for the nuclear industry from the Department of Energy as well as from public opinion polls and online “influencers.” He thought therefore that he would find confident predictions for when the next new U.S. reactor would go on line. Instead, he found uncertainty and varied responses.

Scratching the surface of SMR history: What’s in a name?

January 12, 2024, 3:22PMNuclear NewsJohn Fabian

This article is the first in a series that will examine the history of small modular reactors.

Small and medium reactors have been an integral part of the U.S. nuclear power enterprise since the early days of the industry. Many of the designs for the next generation of reactors are rooted in the designs of the 1950s and ’60s, but the development and push for deployment have gained momentum only within the last decade.

This recent momentum led a reader of Nuclear News to suggest an article reviewing the history of small modular reactors. NN staff jumped on this idea, deciding a series of articles would do better justice to such a complex and interesting topic.

How was the BWRX-300 designed to keep construction costs in check?

January 8, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear NewsDennis Henneke

Dennis Henneke

The BWRX-300 is the 10th generation of boiling water reactor designed by GE Hitachi and has a number of evolutionary features. We learned from the design of the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), the BWRX-300’s predecessor, that implementation of a plant design that utilizes passive safety features can result in a relatively large containment. From the inception of the BWRX-300, our goal was simplification of the design and the reduction in overall size of the “safety footprint,” which includes both containment and the safety-related--component plant areas. The design team was empowered to consider any and all simplification efforts, which were evaluated by the GEH team. One key to implementing this goal—design of a plant that can be licensed anywhere in the world—is the use of a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) that helps ensure the resulting plant risk is low.

ARCSC holds second workshop

January 2, 2024, 7:00AMANS News

The Advanced Reactor Codes and Standards Collaborative (ARCSC) held its second workshop on November 30, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The hybrid event had just over 200 participants, including representatives from standards development organizations (SDOs), the Electric Power Research Institute, the Nuclear Energy Institute, national laboratories, government agencies, vendors, advanced reactor designers, and consultants as well as representatives from other U.S. industry and international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency. ANS Standards Board chair Andrew Sowder, senior technical executive at EPRI, welcomed attendees to EPRI’s offices, where the workshop was held.

2024 GAIN vouchers will foster seven new advanced reactor technologies

December 23, 2023, 6:01PMNuclear News
A still from a video on Westinghouse Electric Company’s eVinci microreactor, one of seven advanced reactor technologies that received support in GAIN’s latest round of nuclear energy vouchers. (Image: Westinghouse)

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced December 19 that seven firms will get vouchers to access the nuclear research facilities and expertise of the national laboratory complex in the first round of fiscal year awards. Each company is paired with one or more national laboratories to work on concepts from advanced reactor fueling to fuel recycling to climate forecasting.