Power & Operations

Constellation seeks subsequent license renewal for Dresden

April 18, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Dresden nuclear power plant. (Photo: Constellation Energy)

Constellation Energy has filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a subsequent license renewal for its Dresden nuclear power plant in Illinois. The extension would allow Dresden to run through 2051.

The filing begins a comprehensive, multiyear review by the NRC. Unit 2 is currently licensed to operate through 2029 and Unit 3 through 2031. The facility’s license was first renewed by the NRC in 2004.

Commissioning work started at Turkey’s first nuclear plant

April 11, 2024, 3:05PMNuclear News
A model of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Mersin, Turkey. (Image: VOA)

The first unit at Akkuyu, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, has begun the commissioning process. The goal is that the plant will begin supplying energy to the nation next year, according to Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation.

Fourth APR-1400 begins commercial operation in South Korea

April 10, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
South Korea’s Shin-Hanul-2 is on the right, with Unit 1 to the left. (Photo: KHNP)

Unit 2 of South Korea’s Shin-Hanul nuclear power plant entered commercial operation on April 5, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power announced. It is the nation’s 26th operating reactor, which continues the upward nuclear trend as South Korea reverses a previous phase-out plan for nuclear.

GAO report looks at climate change and nuclear power

April 9, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

A new study by the Government Accountability Office researched potential impacts of climate change–related hazards on the U.S. nuclear fleet and found clear risks. In the report, which was released to the public last week, the GAO recommends that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission address these possible threats during the licensing process.

New Jersey plants seek subsequent license renewals

April 4, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants. (Photo: PSE&G)

PSEG Nuclear LLC announced this week it will pursue subsequent license extensions to keep the three reactors at its Hope Creek and Salem plants operating for an additional 20 years. Both plants had been granted initial life extensions years ago by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Salem-1 and -2 on June 30, 2011, and Hope Creek on July 20, 2011.

DOE makes conditional commitment to Palisades’ restoration and resumption of service

March 27, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township, Mich.

The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) today announced a conditional commitment of up to $1.52 billion for a loan guarantee to Holtec Palisades LLC to finance the restoration and resumption of service of the 800-MWe Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township, Mich.

Barakah-4 is connected to the UAE grid

March 26, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
Unit 4 at the Barakah nuclear power plant. (Photo: Nawah Energy Company)

The fourth nuclear unit at Barakah power plant in the United Arab Emirates has been “safely and successfully” connected to the nation’s grid, according to an announcement by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. ENEC announced the start-up of the 1,400-MWe pressurized water reactor earlier this month. Nawah Energy Company, ENEC’s operating and maintenance subsidiary, runs the facility.

PG&E to dredge Diablo Canyon intake system

March 19, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News
A view of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant from the water. (Photo: California Coastal Commission)

The owners of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant plan to dredge a massive buildup of shoaled sediment from its seawater intake cove.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Suzanne Hosn said, “The dredging project in the Diablo Canyon marina will remove approximately 70,000 cubic yards of sediment to prevent circumstances that could impact the power plant’s cooling system. Dredging will take place for the first time since operations began because of a rapid increase in sediment.”

Nuclear noted as an answer to electricity demands from data centers

March 12, 2024, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The spread of “electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories” throughout the United States is “leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid,” according to a recent article in the Washington Post. According to the report, the surge in industrial power requirements due to such factors as innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and the corresponding construction of large computing infrastructure, is prompting some officials to “look beyond the grid” to ease the “grid bottleneck” and meet electricity demands.

Climate groups file suit against Diablo Canyon

March 11, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News
In this 2013 photo, workers test switches and gauges in Diablo Canyon’s Unit 2 control room and review the results while the reactor is shut down for refueling and routine maintenance. (Photo: PG&E)

Three climate groups filed a motion for the immediate closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California, saying the nuclear plant poses an “unacceptable safety risk.”

France leads Europe as largest 2023 energy exporter

March 7, 2024, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

According to a new report by the European energy analysis firm Montel EnAppSys, France was “comfortably” the biggest net exporter of energy in Europe throughout 2023, with its export totals being 48.7 TWh more than its import totals. In second place in Europe was Sweden, with 28.6 TWh more in exports than imports.

UAE’s Barakah-4 unit reaches start-up

March 6, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Unit 4 at the Barakah nuclear power plant. (Photo: Nawah)

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation announced last week start-up at its fourth nuclear unit at the Barakah plant in the UAE.

The plant is run by ENEC’s operating and maintenance subsidiary Nawah Energy Company. In the coming weeks, Unit 4 will be linked to the national electricity grid and undergo testing as power production is gradually increased to full capacity.

Vogtle-4 plant in home stretch, connects to grid

March 4, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
Southern Nuclear’s Vogtle-4. (Photo: Georgia Power)

Vogtle Unit 4 synchronized and successfully connected to the electric grid on March 1, just two weeks after reaching initial criticality.

This milestone is one of the final steps to completing Southern Nuclear’s long-awaited Vogtle project, adding the second of two large-scale reactors to the United States’ fleet in as many years—the first such additions to that fleet in more than three decades.

Bruce Power expansion plans get federal funding infusion

March 1, 2024, 12:03PMNuclear News
Ontario energy minister Todd Smith (center) and Bruce Power president and CEO Mike Rencheck (right) applaud as Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian minister of energy and natural resources, announces funding to support Bruce Power’s predevelopment work for expansion. (Photo: Bruce Power)

The Canadian government has announced up to C$50 million ($36.8 million) in funding for predevelopment work to study the feasibility of building 4,800 megawatts of new generating capacity at the Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario.

NRC shares Clinton license renewal application online

February 28, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News
Clinton nuclear power plant. (Photo: Constellation Energy)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published Clinton Power Station’s initial license renewal on the agency’s website.

Constellation Energy submitted the application February 14, seeking an extension for the Illinois plant's current operating license from 20 years to 40 years. This would allow the Illinois plant to run through 2047.

India’s newest nuclear reactor connects to grid

February 27, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Kakrapar nuclear power plant in Gujarat, India, is home to four PHWRs. (Image: DAE GODL-India)

Unit 4 at Kakrapar nuclear power plant was connected to the grid on February 20, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) has announced. The 700-MWe pressurized heavy water reactor achieved first criticality on December 17, 2023.

Relearning how to build nuclear in the U.K.

February 26, 2024, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. (Photo: EDF)

The effort to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, England, has been “prodigious, lengthy, and increasingly costly.” So says London-based energy, business, and environment writer Stanley Reed in his recent New York Times article, “Why Britain Is Struggling with Nuclear Power.”

China starts construction on 2 reactors

February 21, 2024, 3:03PMNuclear News
Concept art showing the proposed layout of the six-unit Jinqimen plant. (Image: CNNC)

Construction formally began this week on two new nuclear reactors in China.

The China National Nuclear Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction of the Jinqimen nuclear power plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang.