Power & Operations

Destruction of Ukrainian dam threatens Zaporizhzhia

June 6, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

A Soviet-era dam downstream from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine collapsed last evening, causing the water level of the Kakhovka Reservoir north of the dam to drop and raising new concerns over the already jeopardized safety of the Russian-occupied nuclear facility, Europe’s largest. The reservoir supplies water for, among other things, Zaporizhzhia’s cooling systems.

The Civil Nuclear Credit Program: An overview

June 2, 2023, 3:07PMNuclear NewsMichael McQueen

Officially established on November 15, 2021, with the signing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—aka the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL—the Department of Energy’s Civil Nuclear Credit Program was designed to give owners/operators of commercial U.S. reactors the opportunity to apply for certification and competitively bid on credits to help support the continued operation of economically troubled units. Finally, the federal government, and not just certain farsighted state governments, would recognize nuclear energy for its important grid reliability and decarbonization attributes.

NRC advisors give nod to Hermes construction permit

June 2, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
A rendering of the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor. (Image: Kairos Power)

Having completed its review of the construction permit application for Kairos Power’s Hermes test reactor early last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) recently submitted its conclusions to the agency, recommending approval.

Plan for AP1000 deployment in Poland gains more focus

May 30, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Seated, from left, are Patrick Fragman, CEOof Westinghouse; Łukasz Młynarkiewicz, acting president of PEJ; and Craig Albert, president and chief operating officer of Bechtel. Standing, from left, are Mark Brzezinski, U.S. ambassador to Poland; Anna Moskwa, Poland’s minister of climate and environment; and Mateusz Berger, Poland’s government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company, Bechtel, and Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ)—the three firms leading the effort to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant—have announced the signing of a new agreement that defines the main principles of cooperation on the project’s design and construction and confirms the implementation of its next major stage.

Virginia sites targeted as competitive for SMRs

May 30, 2023, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The LENOWISCO region of Virginia, being considered for future SMR siting, is in the far southwestern corner of the state. (Image: Virginia.gov )

Seven sites in southwestern Virginia have been identified as “competitive hosting grounds” for small modular reactors by a feasibility study Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI) prepared for the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission. (The planning district, based in Duffield, Va., serves the counties of Lee, Wise, and Scott and the city of Norton.) At a May 22 press conference at LENOWISCO’s offices, DEI chemical engineer and principal investigator Chuck Marks said the review represents the “very early stages of, does this region have what it takes to site one of these reactors, successfully deploy and successfully operate. And the answer is overwhelmingly yes,” according to an article in the Cardinal News.

NuScale becomes latest member of Romanian nuclear group

May 25, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

NuScale Power announced yesterday that it has joined the Romanian Atomic Forum, aka Romatom, as a supporting member “to champion the association’s nuclear energy goals and further the next generation of advanced nuclear technology experts, technologists, and operators in Romania.” The move further deepens the American small modular reactor company’s commitment to the deployment of a VOYGR SMR plant in the Central European state.

DOE report: Nuclear a necessary part of Biden’s clean electricity plan

May 25, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News

Both current and advanced nuclear are among the clean energy sources that will be required to reach the Biden administration’s declared goal of a zero-carbon U.S. electricity sector by 2035, concludes a new report from the Department of Energy.

On the Path to 100% Clean Electricity, released last week, features a list of 10 actions the authors consider necessary for meeting that climate commitment. The full report can be accessed here.

$275 Million for NuScale VOYGR deployment in Romania announced

May 24, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
President Biden met with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom at the G7 Summit, held May 19–21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Also pictured are representatives of the European Commission and European Council.)

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, over the weekend, the Biden administration and partners Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates announced a public-private commitment of up to $275 million to support the advancement of NuScale Power’s small modular reactor project in Romania.

NuScale, Nucor mull pairing SMR plants with steel mills

May 22, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News
A Nucor electric arc furnace. (Photo: Nucor)

NuScale Power and steel manufacturer Nucor have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants at Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills, the Portland, Ore.–based SMR developer announced Tuesday.

Tennessee governor launches nuclear advisory council

May 19, 2023, 1:03PMNuclear News


In his latest effort to promote the growth of nuclear energy in his state, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order on Tuesday to establish the Tennessee Nuclear Energy Advisory Council.

“Tennessee is ready-made to lead America’s energy independence and drive continued economic growth with safe, clean, and reliable nuclear energy for the future,” Lee said at a news conference held at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus to publicize the document. “Today, I’m signing an executive order that will continue our work to make Tennessee the number-one state for nuclear energy companies to invest and thrive, bringing greater opportunity and quality jobs for Tennesseans.”

Oklo to deploy two Aurora plants in Ohio

May 19, 2023, 9:01AMNuclear News
A rendering of Oklo’s Aurora Powerhouse. (Image: Oklo)

Santa Clara, Calif.–based Oklo is planning to build its second and third commercial Aurora Powerhouse nuclear plants in southern Ohio, the company announced yesterday. The advanced reactor developer received a site permit in December 2019 from the Department of Energy to build its initial Aurora facility at Idaho National Laboratory.

According to the announcement, Oklo has signed an agreement with the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI), a community-reuse organization, to deploy two 15-MWe plants on land owned by SODI at the Portsmouth site near Piketon, Ohio. The DOE began transferring parcels of the Portsmouth site—home to the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, now undergoing decontamination and decommissioning—to SODI in June 2018 for economic development.

Two reports sound alarm on supply chain deployment risks—for fission and fusion

May 19, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Reports released this week point to a clean energy future fueled by atomic energy—if and when pressing supply chain issues can be resolved. Advanced Reactor Roadmap, Phase 1: North America, released on May 15 by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Nuclear Energy Institute, takes a broad look at the deployment of advanced fission reactors and identifies supply chain ramp-up as one key enabler. The Fusion Industry Supply Chain: Opportunities and Challenges, released by the Fusion Industry Association on May 17, focuses on fusion energy supply chain issues.

Westinghouse, Dominion ink deal for Surry steam generator replacement

May 18, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Westinghouse chief executive officer Patrick Fragman meets with Dominion Energy CEO Bob Blue on May 15 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Dominion Energy to design, manufacture, and deliver replacement steam generators for Virginia’s Surry plant, the nuclear technology firm announced Tuesday.

Terrestrial Energy awarded DOE grant for IMSR licensing

May 17, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
An illustration of an IMSR plant. (Image: Terrestrial Energy)

Ontario–based Terrestrial Energy announced yesterday that its U.S. branch has been awarded a regulatory assistance grant from the Department of Energy to support the company’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing program for the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) plant.

Shoreline Power awarded major contract for Bruce plant refurbishment

May 17, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
(Photo: Bruce Power)

Bruce Power has awarded a 10-year, C$1.3 billion (about $970 million) fuel channel and feeder replacement (FCFR) contract to Shoreline Power Group for the remaining major component replacement (MCR) projects scheduled for Bruce Units 4, 5, 7, and 8.

First international NuScale E2 Center opens

May 17, 2023, 7:47AMNuclear News
Officials from the U.S. and Romanian governments, NuScale, and Nuclearelectrica gather at the University Politehnica of Bucharest on May 12 to debut the first NuScale E2 Center in Europe in preparation for the deployment of a VOYGR SMR power plant in Doicești, Romania. (Photo: NuScale Power )

NuScale Power has announced the opening of its fifth Energy Exploration (E2) Center, at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, in support of the small modular reactor developer’s ongoing collaboration with the U.S. and Romanian governments and Nuclearelectrica, operator of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

Dominion Energy exec talks SMRs for Virginia

May 16, 2023, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe


At a recent meeting of the Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority, advanced nuclear was on the docket for discussion. According to an article in the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, Dominion Energy vice president for business development Emil Avram discussed Dominion’s plans for developing advanced nuclear facilities featuring small modular reactors in southwestern Virginia, as well as the company’s vision regarding other energy sources.

Avram’s May 9 talk came at a time when Virginia is at the forefront of national efforts to deploy commercial SMRs. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has pledged that the commonwealth will be the first to build and deploy a commercial SMR, with plans to locate it in the coalfield region of southwestern Virginia.

Westinghouse submits AP300 regulatory engagement plan to NRC

May 15, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear News
A cutaway depiction of the AP300 SMR. (Image: Westinghouse)

Just days after immediately achieving key-player status in the small modular reactor market with the unveiling of its AP300 SMR, Westinghouse Electric Company on May 9 announced the filing of the new unit’s preapplication regulatory engagement plan with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The plan outlines the preapplication activities Westinghouse intends to carry out with NRC staff to support the AP300’s licensing. According to the announcement, the plan documents the basic design philosophy of the technology, an overview of the proposed licensing approach, and a timeline for the planned preapplication interactions between the NRC and Westinghouse, with the goal of soliciting agency feedback on noteworthy topics.