Nuclear News on the Newswire

Biden launches nuclear power projects working group in push to deployment

Nuclear energy advocates attended a White House summit today on domestic nuclear deployment and will help advise a new federal initiative to support building new grid-scale nuclear reactors.

The event showcased recent policy developments and new industry investments that have changed the playing field—for the better—for nuclear during the past few years. The White House is calling it “the largest sustained push to accelerate civil nuclear deployment in the United States in nearly five decades.”

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Oklo, Wyoming Hyperscale partner for data center energy

California-based Oklo is partnering with Wyoming Hyperscale to power a state-of-the-art data center campus.

The companies, which announced the partnership last week, signed a nonbinding letter of intent to provide 100 megawatts of carbon-free energy for a 20-year power purchase agreement. Wyoming Hyperscale is building a data center on 58 acres of land on Aspen Mountain, a remote site southeast of Evanston, Wyo., and plans to use Oklo’s Aurora Powerhouse units to provide clean energy at the site.

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DOE ready to consider Russian U ban waivers

Utilities need to know months ahead of a scheduled refueling outage that fresh fuel will be on-site and ready to load. Now that the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act has been signed into law, U.S. utilities with plans to use Russian-origin low-enriched uranium also need to know if they can secure a waiver for imports through December 31, 2027—subject to specific annual limits—if “no alternative viable source of [LEU] is available to sustain the continued operation of a nuclear reactor or a United States nuclear energy company” or if LEU imports from Russia are “in the national interest.”

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U.K. announces new site for mega-nuclear power station

The United Kingdom has announced a northern Wales site as its preferred location for a third mega-nuclear power station as the nation aims to support long-term energy security.

Following its plans to build nuclear facilities at Hinkley in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk, both in England, U.K. officials hope to revive the nuclear history of Wylfa, in Wales, and bring thousands of jobs and major investment to the area. The government is kickstarting talks with global energy firms in hopes of building a nuclear plant in Wylfa that could provide enough energy to power 6 million homes for 60 years.

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NASA will supply Am-241 heat sources for Mars rover in a space exploration first

Europe’s first Mars rover—named Rosalind Franklin—was months away from a planned September launch when the European Space Agency (ESA) convened a meeting a few weeks after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The ESA Council unanimously agreed on “the present impossibility” of working with Roscosmos as its launch partner and later decided to reboot its ExoMars mission with a new lander, new partners, and a new launch date.

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Ukraine plant temporarily loses main power supply

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant temporarily lost the connection to its sole remaining 750 kilovolt (kV) off-site power line last week due to a reported short circuit, leaving it reliant on a single backup line for more than three hours.

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Nuclear security workforce development

Ensuring that nuclear technology is used exclusively for peaceful purposes remains a critical challenge for our society today. The global community faces several grave nuclear security threats: nations that attempt to create (such as Iran) or augment (such as Russia, China, and North Korea) their nuclear arsenals, acts of aggression that target civilian nuclear reactors (as seen with Russia in Ukraine), and the looming menace of nuclear weapons deployment (emanating from Russia). Furthermore, addressing climate change necessitates an expansion of nuclear energy for electricity generation, which brings with it the need for safeguarding and regulating the deployment of advanced reactors.

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NRC accepts TerraPower’s SMR construction permit

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has formally accepted TerraPower’s small modular reactor construction permit application and is scheduling it for review.

The company’s Natrium reactor demonstration project—the nation’s first commercial advanced reactor of its kind—would be built on land in Wyoming near one of the state’s retiring coal plants. Kemmerer Power Station Unit 1 would operate as a 345-MW sodium-cooled reactor in conjunction with molten salt–based energy storage.

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Constellation chief doesn’t rule out Three Mile Island restart

On the company’s earnings call this month, Constellation CEO Joe Dominguez was asked if there is a possibility of restarting the shuttered Three Mile Island plant—as is being proposed for the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan.

“We’re not unaware that opportunity exists for us,” Dominguez said. “We’re obviously seen what’s happened with Palisades and I think that was brilliant. Brilliant for the nation. … We are doing a good bit of thinking about a number of different opportunities, and that would probably certainly be one of those that we would think about.”

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Kyoto Fusioneering and CNL form fusion development joint venture

Japan’s Kyoto Fusioneering, a fusion startup spun out from Kyoto University, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories have announced the formation of Fusion Fuel Cycles Inc., headquartered in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. The joint venture extends a strategic alliance formed between the two entities in September 2023 and aims to develop and deploy deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion fuel cycle technologies.

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