Nuclear News on the Newswire

NRC advisors give nod to Hermes construction permit

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.

Go to Article

General Atomics and Tokamak Energy join forces on HTS magnet tech

General Atomics (GA) and Tokamak Energy Ltd. are each independently developing magnetic confinement fusion power plant concepts that would use a tokamak and high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets to confine and shape a plasma heated to over 100 million degrees Celsius. On May 30, they announced a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on HTS magnet technology for fusion energy and other applications.

Go to Article

NRC issues strategic plan for reviewing AI in nuclear applications

To help plan and prepare for new technologies involving artificial intelligence, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released its Artificial Intelligence Strategic Plan (NUREG-2261) for fiscal years 2023–2027.

The NRC said that it expects license applications that include the use of AI technologies to be submitted to the agency for review and approval within the next few years. The strategic plan is meant to help ensure that NRC staff are prepared to review and evaluate such applications.

In the foreword, the NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research director Raymond Furstenau introduces the strategic plan, writing, “We recognize that interest in AI is growing rapidly in both the public and private sectors. As such, I think [it] is important to lay the groundwork needed to ensure the safe and secure use of AI in NRC-regulated activities.”

Go to Article

Feedback from nuclear sector to inform hearing on NRC licensing process

Leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last month sent letters to a variety of nuclear sector stakeholders requesting input in preparation for a June 14 hearing titled “Oversight of NRC: Ensuring Efficient and Predictable Nuclear Safety Regulation for a Prosperous America.” (The hearing will be livestreamed at

“We invite you to submit to the committee information and recommendations to improve the licensing review and approval process, as well as the oversight of NRC licensees,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are interested in NRC activities involving the licensing and oversight of today’s operating reactors, as well as the siting, licensing, construction, and oversight of advanced nuclear reactor technologies.” The letter also noted the committee’s interest in “improving NRC efficiency, management of regulatory costs and fees, public health and safety, staff effectiveness and culture, collaboration with the Department of Energy, and international activities.”

Go to Article

Charting nuclear reactors

Not everyone in the nuclear industry is familiar with a series of 105 historic wall charts displaying detailed illustrations of nuclear reactors and their internal components, but Ronald A. Knief is. Knief, a retired professor of chemical and nuclear engineering at the University of New Mexico and former principal engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has spent decades collecting these educational items, which were originally published as foldout inserts in Nuclear Engineering International magazine from the 1950s through early 2000s.

Go to Article

Benton Arnett: On the nuclear benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act

It has been said that the nuclear provisions in the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act are strong enough to be stand-alone bills. The IRA contains various tax incentives for nuclear, to the point where it seems that few in Congress are questioning the importance of nuclear energy to the nation’s power grid and climate goals.

Go to Article