Nuclear News on the Newswire

How the NRC modernized its digital I&C infrastructure and where it goes from here

The Nuclear Regulatory Commissiona first formally developed infrastructure for the review of digital instrumentation and control (I&C) systems in the 1990s. Although the current fleet of nuclear power plants in the United States was originally designed and constructed with analog systems, the U.S. nuclear industry has for more than 30 years been working to upgrade these older systems with modern digital equipment.

Go to Article

China’s Tianwan-6 up and running

Unit 6 at the Tianwan nuclear plant has entered commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation announced last week. The domestically designed ACPR-1000 pressurized water reactor becomes CNNC’s 24th unit to enter service, raising the company’s installed generating capacity to 22.5 GWe (gross).

Go to Article

Support for nuclear energy grows with climate change concerns

Public discourse on energy and climate increasingly includes nuclear energy, but how has that affected public opinion? The answer: a lot. A national public opinion survey conducted in May found that support for nuclear energy has rebounded, and politics, in part, may offer a window into why. For example, now Biden and Trump voters support nuclear energy about equally. Trump voters care more about affordable and reliable electricity. Biden voters care more about climate change, and their support is driven by perception of need. Perception of need is boosted by climate change, recent energy supply problems, and Democratic leadership endorsements. The importance of Democratic leadership endorsements is shown in the Obama bump in 2010 and the Biden bump in 2021. In both cases, the increase in overall support for nuclear is largely attributable to increased support among Democrats.

The survey, with 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points and was conducted by Bisconti Research Inc. with Quest Global Research Mindshare Online Panel. The report includes trend data going back 38 years.

Go to Article

EDF retires U.K.’s Dungeness plant

EDF Energy, owner and operator of the United Kingdom’s nuclear reactor fleet, yesterday announced its decision to move the Dungeness B nuclear plant into its defueling phase “with immediate effect,” rather than proceed with a restart later this year. The company had previously stated that it intended to operate the facility, located in southeastern England, until at least 2028.

Go to Article

NRC awards $10.7 million in academic grants

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on June 8 that it has awarded 30 academic grants to 26 academic institutions in 19 states, totaling nearly $10.7 million. The funds will support scholarships, fellowships, and faculty development at four-year universities and colleges, two-year trade schools and community colleges, and minority-serving institutions.

Go to Article

Argonne-led team models fluid dynamics of entire SMR core

Coolant flow around the fuel pins in a light water reactor core plays a critical role in determining the reactor’s performance. For yet-to-be-built small modular reactors, a thorough understanding of coolant flow will be key to successfully designing, building, and licensing first-of-a-kind reactors.

Go to Article

Byron, Dresden, Quad Cities fail to clear in PJM capacity auction

Three Illinois nuclear power plants—Byron, Dresden, and Quad Cities—did not clear in last week’s long-delayed PJM Interconnection capacity auction, Exelon Generation reported in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The news is likely to further pressure the Illinois General Assembly to pass a comprehensive energy package—one with subsidies for the state’s financially ailing nuclear plants—before Exelon moves forward with its plan, announced last August, to prematurely retire Byron and Dresden.

Go to Article