Power & Operations

Georgia Power to pay Vogtle co-owner for project cost overruns

October 9, 2023, 3:04PMNuclear News
Vogtle Units 3 (on left) and 4, in August. (Photo: Georgia Power)

Georgia Power, primary owner of the Vogtle nuclear plant, announced last Friday that it will pay $413 million to settle a lawsuit brought against it last year by plant co-owner Oglethorpe Power Corporation.

Holtec files with NRC to restart Palisades

October 9, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

Holtec International has taken another step on the arduous stairway to Palisades resurrection, announcing last Friday that it has filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to “formally begin the process of seeking federal reauthorization of power operations” at the Covert Township, Mich., facility.

Digital twins and nuclear plants

October 6, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear NewsJeff Lane, Tannis Liviniuk, Bristol Hartlage, and Jim Harrell

A digital twin is a virtual replica of a real system or physical asset. It is a trusted data source containing vital information about an asset, which could include dimensions, relevant manufacturer information, operations history, and maintenance records. To realize the maximal benefit from a digital twin at a nuclear power plant, for example, it must evolve as the facility is designed, constructed, and operated. Some general attributes and the resulting benefits of a digital twin follow:

It integrates information to a single location

Ease of access

It connects to the physical asset

Continuous monitoring

It dynamically learns and updates

Evolves with the asset

U.K. picks six to advance in SMR competition

October 4, 2023, 12:08PMNuclear News

The U.K. government has chosen six companies to participate in the next stage of its small modular reactor competition: EDF, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Holtec Britain Limited, NuScale Power, Rolls-Royce SMR (the only real home team), and Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited. According to the government’s October 2 announcement, the advanced technologies offered by these firms are “the most able to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s.”

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Texas kicks off effort to make state a leader in new nuclear

October 3, 2023, 12:04PMNuclear News
PUCT commissioner Jimmy Glotfelty leads the discussion at the Texas Advanced Nuclear Reactor Working Group’s first public meeting, on September 28. (Image: PUCT)

The Texas Advanced Nuclear Reactor Working Group—formed recently by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott—hosted its first public meeting last Thursday to discuss the group’s organizational structure and outline a plan to turn Texas into a national leader in the use of advanced nuclear energy.

Canada commits to C$3 billion for CANDU project in Romania

September 29, 2023, 9:28AMNuclear News
Romania’s Cernavoda Units 1 and 2. (Photo: Nuclearelectrica)

Canada will provide C$3 billion (about $2.2 billion) in export financing to Romania’s nuclear operator, Nuclearelectrica, in support of Canadian participation in the project to complete Units 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda nuclear plant, Canadian minister of energy Jonathan Wilkinson announced last week.

Engineering services contract signed for first Polish plant

September 29, 2023, 6:55AMNuclear News
At the September 27 signing ceremony for the engineering services contract to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant are, from left, John Howanitz, president of Bechtel’s nuclear, security, and environmental global business unit; Westinghouse president and CEO Patrick Fragman; Polish government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska; Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki; U.S. ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski; assistant secretary of energy for international affairs Andrew Light; and Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe president Mateusz Berger. (Photo: Bechtel)

Just one week after inking a consortium agreement to partner on the design and construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant, Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel joined state-owned Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) in Warsaw on Wednesday for the signing of the project’s engineering services contract.

Environmental regulator gives nod to plans for first Polish nuclear plant

September 27, 2023, 4:59PMNuclear News

Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDOŚ) has given its imprimatur to the Central European nation’s plan to build and operate its first nuclear power facility, state-owned utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe announced last Friday.

PEJ, which submitted its environmental impact report for the proposed project to GDOŚ in March 2022, called the decision “a key permit obtained in the investment process, because subsequent administrative approvals, including the decision to determine the location of the investment and the building permit, must comply with the arrangements and conditions contained in the decision on environmental conditions.”

Alberta funds SMR study

September 27, 2023, 9:48AMNuclear News
Support from the government of Alberta for the Cenovus Energy SMR study was announced September 19 at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. From left are Laura Kilcrease, Alberta Innovates CEO; Rhona DelFrari, Cenovus chief sustainability officer and executive vice president, stakeholder engagement; Rebecca Schulz, minister of environment and protected areas; Justin Riemer, Emissions Reduction Alberta CEO; and Nathan Neudorf, minister of affordability and Utilities. (Photo: Government of Alberta)

Canada’s Alberta province is investing C$7 million (about $5.2 million) to help Cenovus Energy study how small modular reactors could be used in northern Alberta to decarbonize oil sands production and what additional information might be needed to pursue their regulatory approval.

Westinghouse, Bechtel sign consortium agreement for first nuclear plant in Poland

September 26, 2023, 3:45PMNuclear News
At the Bechtel/Westinghouse consortium agreement signing ceremony at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, were, from left, U.S. ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski; Ahmet Tokpinar, general manager of Bechtel’s nuclear power business line; Elias Gedeon, senior vice president for commercial operations at Westinghouse; Mirosław Kowalik, president of Westinghouse Poland; and Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Poland government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure. (Photo: Bechtel)

Westinghouse Electric Company and engineering, construction, and project management firm Bechtel on September 20 announced the signing of a consortium agreement to partner on the design and construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant.

U.S. supports Ghanaian nuclear program with $1.75 million

September 25, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation Ann Ganzer (right) with Nii Kwashie Allotey of the Ghanaian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (center). (Photo: U.S. Embassy in Ghana )

The U.S. Embassy in Ghana last week announced $1.75 million to support establishing the West African nation as a small modular reactor regional training hub and center of excellence for the sub-Saharan African region.

The project is backed by the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) capacity-building program, in which Ghana has participated since 2022.

GE Hitachi named first corporate sponsor of Net Zero Nuclear

September 22, 2023, 9:00AMNuclear News

Net Zero Nuclear, an initiative that debuted earlier this month at the World Nuclear Symposium in London, has named GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) its initial corporate sponsor. The announcement was made Wednesday at the Atlantic Council’s Nuclear Energy Policy Summit in New York.

Bechtel debuts Warsaw office to support Polish foray into nuclear power

September 19, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Reston, Va.–based Bechtel—the engineering, procurement, construction, and project management firm partnering with Westinghouse to deliver Poland its first nuclear power plant—recently announced the opening of an office in Warsaw to support the project.

Wyoming invites BWXT to assess microreactors for the state

September 18, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Concept art of the BANR microreactor system. (Image: BWXT)

BWX Technologies last week announced a contract with the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) to evaluate the viability of deploying microreactors in the state.

The Lynchburg, Va., tech firm said its BWXT Advanced Technologies subsidiary will execute the two-year, two-phase agreement in close consultation with the state government and other Wyoming organizations and companies.

Bruce-6 connected to grid after refurbishment

September 15, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Bruce Power operations staff synchronizes Unit 6 to the Ontario electrical grid on September 8. (Photo: Bruce Power)

The ongoing major component replacement (MCR) project at Ontario’s Bruce nuclear power plant reached another milestone last Friday with the reconnection to the grid of the facility’s Unit 6 reactor. According to a release from plant operator Bruce Power, the work was completed ahead of schedule and on budget despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recap of UT Baker School's forum on nuclear energy's future

September 14, 2023, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs at the University of Tennessee—Knoxville hosted a presentation titled “A Conversation of the Future of Nuclear Energy in the United States” on Tuesday, September 5. Panelists were ANS member Jamie Coble, associate professor of nuclear engineering at UTK and associate editor of the American Nuclear Society journal Nuclear Technology; ANS member Scott Hunnewell, vice president for new nuclear at the Tennessee Valley Authority; and ANS member Andrew Nelson, section head for nuclear fuel development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The discussion was moderated by Charles Sims, director of the Center for Energy, Transportation, and Environmental Policy at the Baker School.

NRC issues new EIS for Turkey Point SLR, seeks public input

September 13, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Turkey Point nuclear power plant. (Photo: FPL)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released for public comment a draft site-specific environmental impact statement concerning subsequent license renewal for the two reactors at Florida’s Turkey Point power plant. The EIS’s preliminary conclusion is that any environmental impacts from the continued operation of the units for a period of 20 years beyond their current expiration dates “are not so great that preserving the option of SLR for energy-planning decision-makers would be unreasonable.”