Nuclear News on the Newswire

Wyoming as a hub for the nuclear supply chain?

A 60-year-old Wyoming industrial machinery company has joined forces with nuclear innovator BWX Technologies to build and deploy 50-megawatt microreactors in America’s heartland over the coming years to provide carbon-free heat and power for industrial users.

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Company touts efficiency of coin cell nuclear battery

Infinity Power has developed a nuclear battery that it says generates electrical power from radioisotopes with 60 percent overall efficiency, exceeding that of other radioisotope energy conversion methods, which are typically less than 10 percent. The company believes its technology—developed in part under contracts from the Department of Defense—has potential for “next-generation radioisotope power sources.”

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Texas talks nuclear as forecast calls for rolling blackouts

Texans are likely to experience intermittent power outages this summer, according to an analysis by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Members of ERCOT, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), and others from the energy industry spoke to the state’s House of Representatives’ Committee on State Affairs earlier this week. ERCOT’s newest report indicates a 16 percent chance of an electric grid emergency and a 12 percent chance of rolling blackouts in August—likely occurring on nights when there is low wind power production.

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DOE approves safety design strategy for Radiant microreactor test plan

Radiant Industries announced on June 4 that the safety design strategy (SDS) for a test of its Kaleidos microreactor in the National Reactor Innovation Center’s DOME test bed at Idaho National Laboratory now has approval from the Department of Energy. Radiant hopes to test Kaleidos—a 1-MW high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor—by 2026 and then market portable commercial reactors to power remote locations and provide backup or primary power for critical applications in hospitals or for disaster relief.

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California lawmakers, governor at odds over Diablo Canyon funding

In budget discussions conducted last week, the California legislature rejected a $400 million budget item to help keep the state’s sole remaining nuclear plant operational.

Diablo Canyon—owned by Pacific Gas & Electric—has been the subject of much debate in California. To meet grid demands during a record hot summer in 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom had cut a deal to give $1.4 billion to support continued operations at the 2,200-MWe nuclear facility.

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TerraPower breaks ground on SMR project in Wyoming

A ceremony in Wyoming yesterday marked the official start of construction of TerraPower’s planned Natrium reactor demonstration project.

While currently awaiting final review from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, TerraPower is moving forward with nonnuclear construction work at a retired coal plant near Kemmerer, Wyo. The groundbreaking brought together TerraPower leaders, government officials, Natrium project partners, industry advocates, and community supporters.

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New fusion energy strategies and partnerships announced at White House event

Just one week after the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosted a summit on domestic nuclear deployment, they filled a room again on June 6 for a livestreamed event cohosted with the Department of Energy to announce a new DOE fusion energy strategy and new public-private partnership programs, and to hear directly from stakeholders—including scientists, private fusion companies, investors, and end users—during panel discussions on fusion science and technology progress and the path to fusion energy commercialization.

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