Nuclear News on the Newswire

Invested in nuclear

Steven Arndt

This will be my last column in Nuclear News as president of the American Nuclear Society. Where has the year gone? For me and for all of us in the nuclear community it has been an exciting and productive 12 months. We have cheered the decision to extend Diablo Canyon operations, witnessed fuel loading and—hopefully by the time the June issue of NN is out—the start of commercial operations of Unit 3 at Vogtle, and seen significant strides forward in the licensing and deployment of small modular reactors. Internationally, we have watched the progress in the deployment of new units in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, as well as renewed commitment to nuclear in countries including Japan, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom. All of this has been a result of both public and private investment in and commitment to nuclear.

Recently, the Inflation Reduction Act and other government actions in the United States have provided opportunities for increased investment in nuclear energy, including production tax credits and investment tax credits.

Go to Article

Westinghouse, Fortum to study SMRs in Finland, Sweden

Representatives of Westinghouse and Fortum sign MOUs in Helsinki, Finland, on June 7. From left are Laurent Leveugle, vice president of new nuclear at Fortum; Petra Lundström, executive vice president of nuclear generation at Fortum; Elias Gedeon, senior vice president of commercial operations at Westinghouse; and Roman Romanowski, vice president of new plant market development at Westinghouse. (Photo: Westinghouse).

Looking to add Finland and Sweden to its growing list of potential reactor customers in Europe, Westinghouse Electric Company on June 7 announced the signing of memoranda of understanding with Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum—operator of the two-unit Loviisa nuclear plant—to explore the possibilities of developing and deploying AP1000 and AP300 reactor projects in the two Nordic nations. The MOUs, according to Westinghouse, establish a framework of collaboration for detailed technical and commercial discussions.

Go to Article

Evolving finance structures drive new joint ventures for SMRs

Andrew Paterson

Having worked at the U.S. Department of Energy for a decade (1997–2007) and across the energy sector on the Environmental Business International board for 30 years, I have witnessed firsthand the widely shared opinion that the “next big thing” in nuclear will be small modular reactors for urban centers and to provide both heat and power for a variety of energy-intensive sectors. To meet the decarbonization demands of these urban centers, the current energy landscape is pushing many countries away from a “renewables-only” strategy. For example, the German Energiewende (or “energy turnaround”) formally started around 2000 under then chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to phase out nuclear toward mostly renewables (with natural gas backup imported from Russia). As demonstrated by the 2022 gas supply shock and price spikes, Germany created its own nightmare: They now suffer the highest energy prices in Europe, have an unstable grid, and are forced to use more coal.

Go to Article

HALEU supply plans detailed in DOE draft solicitations and scoping notice

The Department of Energy released two draft requests for proposals to acquire high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU)—one covering enrichment services that could include the production of between 5 and 145 metric tons of HALEU during a 10-year performance period, and another for deconverting that HALEU from uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas to metal or oxide forms in preparation for fuel fabrication. The DOE also issued a notice of intent to fulfill its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) obligations for the HALEU Availability Program by launching the scoping process for an environmental impact statement; that notice was published in the Federal Register on June 5.

Go to Article

Destruction of Ukrainian dam threatens Zaporizhzhia

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.

Go to Article

From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update

Here is a recap of industry happenings over the past month:


Partnership formed to study X-energy’s SMR in commercial conditions

X-energy and Kinectrics have launched a partnership to design, build, and operate a commercial-scale test facility to study the performance of the Xe-100 advanced small modular reactor in helium--based high-temperature, high--pressure operating conditions. The test facility, the site for which is to be announced sometime this summer, may be completed and operational by 2025.

Go to Article