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.

The National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors

June 12, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsLes Foyto, Tim Grunloh, and Caleb S. Brooks

Photo: University of Maryland Radiation Facilities

This year, the nuclear power industry is seeing a renewed mandate to innovate and supply carbon-free energy for a range of applications. These new reactor designs feature new fuel forms, expanded thermodynamic ranges, and different operational paradigms. The trend toward smaller designs is anticipated to dramatically reduce siting requirements and enable applications of nuclear heat more customizable to commercial use. This has many vendors and operators imagining creative ways to optimize reactor economics in an unpredictable energy market.

The existing U.S. nuclear fleet has benefited from experience and research generated in research and test reactors around the country. As our industry reinvests in innovation, it will once again turn to many of the same reactors. Those reactors—and the groups such as the National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR) that formed to support them—have their own history of innovation.

Invested in nuclear

June 8, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear NewsSteven Arndt

Steven Arndt

This will be my last column in Nuclear News as president of the American Nuclear Society. Where has the year gone? For me and for all of us in the nuclear community it has been an exciting and productive 12 months. We have cheered the decision to extend Diablo Canyon operations, witnessed fuel loading and—hopefully by the time the June issue of NN is out—the start of commercial operations of Unit 3 at Vogtle, and seen significant strides forward in the licensing and deployment of small modular reactors. Internationally, we have watched the progress in the deployment of new units in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, as well as renewed commitment to nuclear in countries including Japan, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom. All of this has been a result of both public and private investment in and commitment to nuclear.

Recently, the Inflation Reduction Act and other government actions in the United States have provided opportunities for increased investment in nuclear energy, including production tax credits and investment tax credits.

Westinghouse, Fortum to study SMRs in Finland, Sweden

June 8, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Representatives of Westinghouse and Fortum sign MOUs in Helsinki, Finland, on June 7. From left are Laurent Leveugle, vice president of new nuclear at Fortum; Petra Lundström, executive vice president of nuclear generation at Fortum; Elias Gedeon, senior vice president of commercial operations at Westinghouse; and Roman Romanowski, vice president of new plant market development at Westinghouse. (Photo: Westinghouse).

Looking to add Finland and Sweden to its growing list of potential reactor customers in Europe, Westinghouse Electric Company on June 7 announced the signing of memoranda of understanding with Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum—operator of the two-unit Loviisa nuclear plant—to explore the possibilities of developing and deploying AP1000 and AP300 reactor projects in the two Nordic nations. The MOUs, according to Westinghouse, establish a framework of collaboration for detailed technical and commercial discussions.

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.

From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update

June 6, 2023, 9:35AMNuclear News

Here is a recap of industry happenings over the past month:


Partnership formed to study X-energy’s SMR in commercial conditions

X-energy and Kinectrics have launched a partnership to design, build, and operate a commercial-scale test facility to study the performance of the Xe-100 advanced small modular reactor in helium--based high-temperature, high--pressure operating conditions. The test facility, the site for which is to be announced sometime this summer, may be completed and operational by 2025.

Framatome extends partnership with Slovakia’s nuclear operator

June 6, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
From left, Framatome’s CEO Bernard Fontana shakes hands with Slovenské Elektrárne’s CEO Branislav Strýček following the signing of an MOU. Also pictured is first vice chairman of Slovenské Elektrárne’s board of directors, Michele Bologna.

Slovakia’s Slovenské Elektrárne—operator of the nation’s two nuclear power plants, Bohunice and Mochovce—and France’s Framatome have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a global strategic relationship, the companies announced last week.

DOE grant leads to new AMS maintenance project

June 5, 2023, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation (AMS) has been awarded $500,000 from the Department of Energy for a yearlong project to develop an industry blueprint that should reduce outage times and maintenance costs at nuclear power plants. The project is set to start later this year.

NEI defends eligibility of existing nuclear for clean hydrogen tax credits

May 26, 2023, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Energy Institute—along with Constellation, Energy Harbor, PSEG, and Vistra—submitted a 19-page letter on May 24 to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, taking issue with April 10 comments to those agencies from the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) concerning the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean hydrogen production tax credit (Internal Revenue Code sec. 45V). (The Treasury and the IRS released a notice last November requesting public input on the credit’s implementation.)

The indispensable value of a P.E. license for entrepreneurs

May 24, 2023, 3:00PMANS NewsArielle Miller

Arielle Miller

In the world of engineering, obtaining a Professional Engineering (P.E.) license is often seen as a significant milestone. The journey toward earning this esteemed credential can be arduous and time-consuming, involving rigorous exams, licensing applications, and recommendations from licensed professionals. However, many young engineers question the practicality of obtaining a P.E. license, especially when starting their own business. This article explores the importance of having a P.E. license when venturing into entrepreneurship and how it can benefit engineers in their professional journey.

For aspiring entrepreneurs in engineering, acquiring a P.E. license early in their careers can be a strategic move. Working for an established company allows young engineers to take advantage of opportunities like employer-funded preparation courses and financial assistance for licensing and exam fees. By investing time and effort into obtaining a P.E. license during the early-career stage, engineers position themselves for future success in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Granholm talks nuclear and other energy issues with WSJ

May 22, 2023, 9:31AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm recently discussed the future of clean energy with Christopher M. Matthews, the U.S. energy editor for the Wall Street Journal. The May 15 live Q&A focused on Granholm’s perspective on the Biden administration’s policies for decarbonization and energy security. Granholm, who mentioned nuclear briefly at beginning of her remarks, returned to the issue at the end of the half-hour interview. In her answer to Matthews’s question, she addressed nuclear industry incentives, safety and waste concerns, next-generation technologies, and fusion.

Fossil fuels? Matthews opened the discussion by noting President Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, allocating “billions of dollars in tax credits and federal loans to boost green energy, including electric vehicles, hydrogen production, and more.” He added, “At the same time, the administration has called on oil and gas producers to increase drilling to slow inflation and to tamp down energy prices.”

Introducing the new online Buyers Guide database

May 16, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

The American Nuclear Society introduced its online Buyers Guide database earlier this month, timing the release to coincide with the delivery of the 2023 print edition of that publication. The fully searchable database includes content published in both the Nuclear News and Radwaste Solutions annual directories and is available to all ANS members. Users can search through over 600 records to find the right company, partner, or people to keep the nuclear fleet operating. Companies are catalogued and cross-referenced under thousands of nuclear-related categories, products, and services to match any need.

Reuters: India’s nuclear industry may seek foreign investment

May 15, 2023, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
An Indian postage stamp commemorating the country’s first nuclear reactor at Trombay. (Source: Government of India)

Reuters has reported that India is considering the recommendation of a government panel to overturn the nation’s ban on foreign investment in the domestic nuclear energy industry. The panel—established by think tank Niti Aayog, which is headed by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi—also recommended that policies be revised to allow for greater participation by private Indian companies in the nuclear energy industry, which is currently dominated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam, both of which are wholly owned by the government of India. The panel made these recommendations, according to Reuters, so that “both domestic and foreign private companies can complement nuclear power generation by public companies.”

Helion inks fusion energy purchase agreement with Microsoft

May 10, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
Image: Helion

Helion Energy, based in Everett, Wash., today announced an agreement to use its first fusion power plant to provide electricity to Microsoft. Constellation, which operates 21 commercial nuclear reactors in the United States, will serve as the power marketer and will manage transmission for the project.

Promising nuclear technologies receive $22.1 million from DOE

May 10, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy yesterday announced the awarding of $22.1 million to 10 industry-led nuclear projects, including two aimed at expanding clean hydrogen production and one at advancing a microreactor design. Other projects selected for funding are focused on addressing nuclear regulatory hurdles, improving existing reactor operation, and facilitating new advanced reactor developments.

Abstracts for all 10 projects can be found here.

Great Lakes hydrogen hub applies for DOE funding

May 9, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant. (Photo: NRC)

The Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen Hub coalition (GLCH) has submitted an application for funding from the $8 billion Department of Energy program authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the creation of regional clean hydrogen hubs, nuclear plant owner/operator Energy Harbor announced on May 2.