Nuclear News on the Newswire

BWXT awarded microreactor evaluation contract for Wyoming

BWX Technologies Inc. received the second phase of a contract with the Wyoming Energy Authority to assess the viability of deploying small-scale nuclear reactors in the state.

The company’s subsidiary, BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC, has been executing the agreement, working with the state of Wyoming to define the requirements for nuclear applications and to study the engineering work needed to support the state’s future power needs. BWXT identified areas where Wyoming’s supply chain could support nuclear reactor component manufacturing.

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DOE to invest $900M in next-generation nuclear

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to invest up to $900 million to support the initial deployment of small modular reactor technology.

The DOE issued a notice of intent to fund projects from President Biden’s infrastructure law with the goal of accelerating advanced nuclear projects to support energy infrastructure. The department estimates the country will need up to 950 gigawatts of reliable and clean energy to help reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Nuclear currently generates 18.6 percent of U.S. electricity.

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ANS Annual Conference: Nonproliferation considerations about HALEU enrichment

The technical session “HALEU and Nonproliferation” on Tuesday at the American Nuclear Society Annual Conference focused on why increased nuclear fuel enrichment comes with increased responsibility. Reactor designers are pursuing high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel for their advanced designs, and technical and policy questions surrounding nuclear nonproliferation will need to be addressed if the United States is to become a HALEU supplier.

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Remembering William A. Anders

William A. Anders

William A. Anders, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a former member of the American Nuclear Society, died on June 7 at 90 years of age.

In a June 18 statement, the NRC offered condolences on his passing.

“Chairman Anders had an illustrious career far beyond taking one of the most widely seen photos from space,” said NRC chair Christopher Hanson. “He was the only person to serve as commissioner on both the Atomic Energy Commission and NRC, and he served as the new agency’s first chairman, providing institutional continuity while unambiguously committing the agency to serve as an unbiased, independent, and open regulator. We are saddened by his death and extend our condolences to his family.”

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Senate passes nuclear ADVANCE Act; bill heads to Biden

The U.S. Senate yesterday passed the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act, sending legislation that would make sweeping changes to the approval process for new technology in the nuclear energy sector to President Biden for final approval.

The legislation passed with an overwhelming majority in the Senate—the vote was 88–2—having cleared the House of Representatives in May.

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Zeno looks to SHINE for Sr-90 to fuel its radioisotope power systems

Wisconsin-based fusion technology company SHINE Technologies announced today the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Zeno Power to develop a nuclear materials supply chain for its commercially available radioisotope power systems (RPSs). Under the MOU, SHINE plans to provide Zeno with strontium-90 to power its RPSs, which are capable of providing continuous power in harsh environments.

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Orano Med inaugurates Pb-212 production facility in Indiana

Guillaume Dureau of Orano Group (left) and Orano Med’s Julien Dodet cut the ribbon on the new ATLabs Indianapolis. (Photo: Orano)

Orano Group subsidiary Orano Med, a developer of targeted alpha therapies for oncology, inaugurated its first ATLab (Alpha Therapy Laboratory) earlier this month. Located in Brownsburg, near Indianapolis, Ind., ATLab Indianapolis is an industrial-scale pharmaceutical facility dedicated to the production of lead-212–based radioligand therapies.

Targeted alpha therapy has shown to be effective in treating various oncological diseases, combining the natural ability of biological molecules to target cancer cells with the short-range cell-killing capabilities of alpha emissions generated by Pb-212. With a half-life of 10.64 hours, along with a decay product of the short-lived alpha-emitter bismuth-212, Pb-212 allows for the possible synthesis and purification of complex radiopharmaceuticals with minimum loss of radioactivity during preparation.

The development of radiopharmaceuticals has long been hampered by the difficulty of manufacturing and distribution on an industrial scale, Orano said, adding that the construction of ATLab Indianapolis is a major step toward making these new treatments available to cancer patients with high unmet needs in North America.

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ANS Annual Conference opening plenary: Full speed ahead

The 2024 American Nuclear Society Annual Conference opened with a bang yesterday as 1,200 attendees gathered in Las Vegas to network, collaborate, and socialize. Honors and awards were presented to several recipients, and ANS welcomed twelve new Fellows.

The plenary opened with an address from ANS Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Craig Piercy that brought this year’s theme to the fore straight away: The time is now to deploy new nuclear projects—and not acting at this moment is simply not an option.

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Senate confirms 3 FERC appointees

The U.S. Senate voted last week to put three new members on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a bipartisan energy oversight board.

The chamber confirmed the nominations of Republican Lindsay See and Democrats David Rosner and Judy Chang. The votes on the nominations were 86–9, 68–26 and 63–33, respectively.

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